Chapter 1-Personally Requested
Chapter 1: Personally Requested
“Don’t be so nervous!”
“But what if someone finds out?!”
“You’ll be fine. Just keep your hair over your ears and no one will even notice. You’ve gotten this far like that.”
“This is different. We’ll be on a ship…with less places to hide!”
“If anyone says anything, I’ll stick up for you. If all else fails you can pretend you’re Vulcan.”
“Ha ha. Very funny.”
Kristine smiled, brushing a wild, auburn curl from her sapphire gaze as her blonde friend tried hiding her pointed ears in her hair, her emerald gaze shooting around the hall they walked through in Starfleet Academy.
“Can you see them?” the blonde whispered, inching closer to Kristine to give her a better look.
“Tatiana, I don’t see anything,” Kristine sighed. “You’re fine. You’re so paranoid.”
“You would be too if you were in my position!” Tatiana shot back, still whispering. “You have no idea what it’s like being a hybrid! The worst hybrid ever, I might add!”
“You’re not the worst hybrid ever,” Kristine argued as they rounded a corner. “There are plenty of hybrids around. Look at Commander Spock!”
“I know,” Tatiana sighed. “I wanna know how he does it. How does he co-exist with himself?”
“Well, for one thing, he’s not so paranoid about people seeing his ears!” Kristine smirked, playfully. “Who cares if people see yours?”
“I care!” Tatiana insisted. “Romulans hate the Federation, remember?!”
“But you’re only half Romulan, silly,” Kristine grinned, taking the other girl under her arm. “Everybody knows you anyway, so you’re fine here. They know you’re not a spy or anything.”
“Don’t say that so loud!” Tatiana hissed, looking around in panic. “Somebody could hear you!”
Kristine sighed, rolling her eyes and pulling her friend around another corner. Deciding to change the subject, she asked, “So, which ship are you assigned to, anyway? You never told me.”
“U.S.S. Enterprise,” Tatiana replied, still fiddling with her hair. “I’m supposed to follow one of the ensigns there.”
“Follow?” Kristine frowned in wonder. “They gave you a shadow assignment? But, you’re at the top of you class! Shouldn’t you be getting a position?”
“Apparently, this guy makes me look like an idiot,” Tatiana replied, finally leaving her hair alone.
“Still, you need something more your speed,” Kristine insisted, picking at her sideways ponytail.
“What about you?” Tatiana wondered. “Which ship were you assigned to?”
“U.S.S. Pegasus,” Kristine blanched. “I wanted the Enterprise, but the Board is being evil to me again.”
“Pegasus isn’t so bad,” Tatiana insisted.
“Their Sick Bay smells like somebody died in there!” Kristine whispered. “I’ve been there before, ya know? It’s frightening how dirty it is on there!”
“What makes you think it would be any different on the Enterprise?” Tatiana wondered.
“Because the Enterprise is still fairly new,” Kristine replied. “And Leonard McCoy would keep his Sick Bay pristine.”
“And you know that how?” Tatiana wondered, placing her hands on her hips as they stopped to face each other.
Kristine’s smile dropped as she cast her eyes down in what appeared to be thought, then took a deep breath with a shrug and looked up at the blonde with a tight smile and replied, “I just know.”
Tatiana gave Kristine a suspicious glare, but before she could ask anything else, she noticed something behind Kristine, making the other girl frown and turn to see a familiar face in a black Starfleet uniform approaching them.
“Commander Spock,” Kristine greeted as Tatiana stepped next to her when he stopped in front of them, his hands behind his back.
“Hello, Cadet Deveraux. Cadet York.” He nodded between the two girls before turning his attention to Kristine. “Cadet Deveraux, you are assigned to the U.S.S. Pegasus, are you not?”
“Yes,” Kristine held back from groaning, but the disdain was clearly heard in her tone, making Tatiana glance at her with a smirk.
“It seems you’ve been requested personally by Doctor McCoy aboard the Enterprise to serve as his medical assistant. Apparently, his current assistant is bedridden with the Klingon flu.”
Both girls winced at that. Out of all the sicknesses of all the races, Klingon anything was always much more severe than any other illnesses.
“I read the personnel chart for the Pegasus,” Spock continued, “and it seems they have more than enough people aboard. I trust this does not inconvenience you too much?”
“Not at all, Sir,” Kristine nearly beamed, but managed to keep herself from jumping with joy at the moment. “No inconvenience whatsoever.”
“Then I look forward to seeing you aboard the Enterprise in a few moments, Cadet Deveraux,” Spock nodded, emotionless throughout the whole encounter. “As well as you, Cadet York. If you’ll excuse me.”
He passed by the girls who nodded their goodbyes, and as soon as he was out of earshot, Tatiana gripped Kristine’s arm to face her.
“What was that about?” she wondered as the two started toward a shuttle that would take them to the Enterprise.
“What do you mean?” Kristine frowned in wonder, honestly confused. “What was what about?”
“Doctor McCoy asked for you personally,” Tatiana retorted. “What was that about? Do you know him or something?”
Kristine swallowed, audibly as she pulled her arm from Tatiana’s grip and looked everywhere else but at the blonde.
“Don’t you even think of lying to me, Kristine,” Tatiana warned pointing a warning finger at her friend. “I can tell when you’re lying to me.”
“Look, it’s nothing,” Kristine finally replied as the girls stepped up a gangplank and into the shuttle. “I ran into him here. We know of each other, that’s all.”
“It doesn’t seem that way,” Tatiana muttered as the girls found their seats, she by the isle and Kristine next to the window. “Seems like you know a little more than ‘of’ each other.”
Kristine didn’t answer, and Tatiana didn’t push the matter any further, which she was glad of. The shuttle soon started filling with other cadets and officers heading to the Enterprise as Kristine gazed out her window in thought and Tatiana fiddled with her hair, hoping her ears would stay covered. Kristine could feel her heart pounding in her chest like a drum, and hoped it was more excitement about finally getting aboard the Enterprise than anxiety about seeing Doctor McCoy.
She hadn’t lied when she told Tatiana about meeting him here, she just hadn’t told her the whole truth. A few dates, that was all it was, but nobody ever knew, and neither one of them wanted anyone to know. The last thing either one of them needed was their superiors thinking that they were both too distracted to do their jobs. It was because of that, that Kristine had ended it before it really began. She found herself becoming distracted when he was around, and some of the other cadets and officers were noticing.
He hadn’t taken it well, and that was why she was nervous now. She was wondering why he was requesting her. Her of all people. She knew full well that there were others who would have killed to be on the Enterprise, but she couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t request one of them.
He probably wants to torture me, she assumed. He’s gonna get back at me for breaking up with him after three dates. What was the big deal, anyway? It was just a few dates, it wasn’t like we were in love or anything!
“Did you hear me, Kris?”
Kristine jumped in her seat and snapped a wide-eyed gaze at Tatiana who stared back at her in terror.
“What’s wrong?” Kristine asked, registering her question and sitting up a bit with a frown.
“Didn’t you hear the officer I was talking to?!” the blonde hissed and Kristine’s frown deepened.
“No, what did he say?” she wondered.
“She said that my hair isn’t regulation!” Tatiana replied as they felt the shuttle begin to launch. “I have to wear it up!”
Kristine’s eyes widened in realization. If Tatiana pulled her hair up, her ears would show. The blonde had always been thankful that the only trait of her Romulan half was her ears. They were easy to hide under her hair…if she wore it down.
“Alright, don’t panic,” Kristine whispered, inching closer to her friend. “We’ll think of something.” Her gaze settled on the wide, white hair band in her friend’s hair and she smirked as an idea popped into her head, making Tatiana frown at her in wonder. “I have an idea.”
Aboard the Enterprise...
Kristine and Tatiana hurried arm in arm to find their quarters’ where they would find their uniforms. They found Tatiana’s first but before Kristine left to find hers, she told the blonde, “I’ll be back after I change. Stay here, ok?”
Tatiana nodded and hurriedly opened her door to enter her room. Kristine waited until the door closed to race down the hall, passing the blurred faces of the crew of the Enterprise. She found her room, rushed to open the door, ran in to change into her medical blue dress uniform and tall black boots then rushed from her room to race down the hall and back toward Tatiana’s room. She knocked at the door and it instantly opened to reveal Tatiana in her ensign gold dress uniform.
“Get in here!” the blonde hissed, pulling the other girl into the room and shutting the door. “What do I do?!”
“Sit on the bed, and I’ll help,” Kristine replied, panting slightly from all her running. Tatiana did what she was told and Kristine sat next to her, turning the girl’s back to herself and pulling the blonde locks into her hands. “Now, don’t worry. I’m gonna put your hair up, but I’ll still be able to hide your ears.”
“How?!” Tatiana hissed, needing to know.
“You’ll see,” Kristine replied, pulling the white hair band from the blonde mass. She placed the band in her lap and started with the hair first. “Regulation is a bun, right?”
“As long as it’s not loose, a braid is fine, I guess,” Tatiana replied. “My hair won’t stay in a bun I’ve tried.”
Kristine nodded then worked on her hair, hurrying to make at six braids then braiding those six into three and pulling two extra hair ties she kept on her wrist at all times off of her wrist to pull the three braids into a ponytail, braiding them, tying them off with the hair tie at the bottom to keep them together.
“Perfect,” Kristine grinned at herself then stood from the bed and faced Tatiana who stared up at her in wonder. Her friend’s Romulan ears were showing, but it didn’t worry Kristine who took her friend’s hand and stood her up to lead her to the bathroom, the white hair band in her hand. She stood Tatiana in front of the mirror, making her groan in assumed failure.
“It didn’t work!” she whined to her friend.
“I’m not done yet,” Kristine explained then faced Tatiana toward her and held up the hair band. She positioned it, and slid it onto her friend’s head, over her side-swept bangs and over her ears, covering the points effectively. She grinned and turned Tatiana back to the mirror asking, “Well? What do you think?”
Tatiana grinned into the mirror, examining her reflection from either side to make sure her ears were covered then turned her grateful grin to her friend to say, “Thank you! Thank you so much!”
“You’re wel-come!” Kristine grunted at the impact of Tatiana giving her a tight hug then struggled to breathe. “Ana---! Ana! Choking---not breathing!”
“Oh,” Tatiana replied, letting go of Kristine who took in a gasp of air. “Sorry. When I get excited my Romulan strength comes out.”
“I know,” Kristine groaned, rubbing her back where she’d felt her friend’s fingers claw her back. She glanced at the clock on the wall and gasped, “Oh, damn! I should have been in the Medical Bay a half hour ago!”
“I’ll see you at lunch then,” Tatiana assured her. “And thank you again so much, Kris!”
“You’re welcome!” Kristine called on her way out then raced down the hall toward the Medical Bay.
She skidded to a stop when she entered the lift and hurriedly pressed the button that would take her to the Medical Bay. She tapped her foot impatiently as the lift moved then finally opened its doors upon reaching her destination.
Kristine hurried into the huge room, finding only one person there with his back to the door. She quickly slowed her breathing, straightened out her dress and retied her hair before stepping slowly toward him. Her heart started pounding when she remembered who it was she was reporting to, and her steps faltered when she noticed him stiffen at the sound of her footsteps, but he didn’t turn. She swallowed when she stopped a good distance from him, placing her hands behind her back to keep him from seeing them shake.
“Doctor?” she called, cautiously. He still didn’t turn around so she continued, “I’m sorry I’m late, Sir. My friend had a problem she needed my help with.”
He didn’t say anything as he looked down at a tablet she could see he was holding.
She fidgeted on her feet, glancing around a moment before getting impatient and saying, “Commander Spock said you requested me personally, Sir.”
“Yes, I did,” his slight Southern drawl finally replied but he still didn’t turn.
“I’d like to know why, if I may, Sir?” Kristine asked, relieved he was finally speaking.
“Couldn’t have you overloading the Pegasus, could we?” he replied, making Kristine frown in wonder. “Besides, that ship’s medical examiner treats his assistants like his personal slaves.” He turned enough to set the tablet on the table next to him and finally turned fully toward her, making her stand at attention as he crossed his arms over his chest and said, “We can’t have you working yourself to death now, can we?”
She didn’t respond. She knew the question didn’t really require an answer, but the reason for her silence was her shock at seeing him after a while. He didn’t look any different from the time she’d met him. In a way, she hated that. He’d looked very good when she’d met him.
“No, Sir,” she finally replied. “We can’t.”
“You can quit with the ‘Sir’ bit,” he replied, lowering his arms to his sides and stepping toward her. She stayed in her place, but didn’t fail to notice her heart started pounding harder than before. “I think you and I can be a little more familiar with each other than that.”
Kristine glanced around when he stopped at arms length from her and she chanced to take a step closer to him to whisper, “I don’t think you want me calling you Leo, do you?”
“Why not?” he shrugged. “I was gonna call you Kris.”
“Only people who know me very well can call me that,” she replied, seriously.
“And I don’t know you well?” he retorted.
“Is this gonna be a problem?” she wondered, sternly. “If this is how it’s gonna be then I can get myself transferred to another station.”
“How is it, Kristine?” he wondered. “I’m just telling you not to call me ‘Sir’.”
“I’m not calling you anything but Sir or Doctor because you’re my commanding officer,” she replied. “Maybe, if we’re at lunch, I’ll call you by your name. Maybe.”
“What’s got you on edge?” he frowned, honestly.
“What do you think?” she muttered. “I thought this was some sort of revenge. Why did you really ask me here?”
McCoy raised a brow at her assumption then said, “I asked you here because you’re a good medical assistant and I didn’t want you wasting your talents on that fool doctor they have on the Pegasus.” He crossed his arms again and smirked, “And why would I want revenge?”
Kristine swallowed, silently then cast her eyes down as she replied, “Well, you weren’t all that happy when I said I couldn’t go out with you anymore.”
“Of course I wasn’t,” he shrugged. “I thought we were getting serious.”
“After three dates?” Kristine frowned, looking up at him again. “You get serious after three dates?”
“You don’t?” he frowned back.
Kristine opened her mouth to respond, gazing at the floor again but closed her mouth again. The truth was, she wanted to with him, but because he’d been distracting her, she thought it better to do the opposite of what she wanted. After all, they’d both agreed to stop dating if it got in the way of their work.
She lifted her gaze back to him when she noticed him step a little closer.
“What happened, Kris?” he asked, seriously. “Was it me?”
Kristine frowned for a moment but soon realized what he meant and felt her heart clench with guilt. She hadn’t even given him a reason why she didn’t want to see him anymore. She sighed and gave a small smile before shaking her head and saying, “No. You were one of the better guys I’ve gone out with. I had some…issues.”
“Issues?” McCoy smirked in wonder and Kristine gave a small chuckle at her own words and she started rocking back and forth.
“I know it sounds weird, but---”
“Not only does it sound weird, but it sounds like you’re lying,” he smirked making Kristine’s smile drop and her eyes widen. “Don’t look so surprised. I can tell when you’re lying because you start to rock on your feet when you talk.” Kristine sighed in exasperation as she rolled her eyes at herself. “So what was the real reason, Kris?”
She swallowed and cast her gaze down at the floor, twiddling her thumbs behind her back for a moment before mumbling, “You were distracting me.”
McCoy’s eyes widened for only a moment, but she didn’t notice, still looking at the floor and he said, “Oh. Why didn’t you just tell me? I wouldn’t have blown up the way I did.”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged, still not looking at him, making him smirk. Her shyness was coming out, and it was something he’d always liked about her.
Deciding to save her from saying anything else, he said, “Well, we should get to work.”
Kristine frowned and looked up at him in wonder as he only stepped closer to pat her shoulder with a small reassuring smile.
“That’s it?” she frowned, still.
“What do you mean?” he frowned back.
“I mean, that’s all you wanted to know?” she clarified and he nodded making her frown deepen.
“Unless there’s something else you wanna tell me,” he shrugged. “But we have to get to work, so it’ll have to wait.”
He turned to the table he’d been standing next to and straightened out the paper work on its surface as Kristine only stood in surprise for a moment then shook it away.
“So, what is it we’ll be doing today, Doctor?” she asked, stepping toward him in time for him to shove the papers he was holding into her hands.
“First of all, you’ll be putting all this information into the computer here,” he replied, gesturing to the computer on the table that she hadn’t noticed. “We’ve got a few routine physicals to take care of after the launch. You know how to do physicals, right?”
“Of course,” Kristine muttered, walking around him and toward the table to sit at the computer.
“We’ll be launching in a few hours so you have plenty of time before we head up to the bridge,” McCoy assured her as he started to walk away but she stopped him.
“‘We,’ Sir?” she wondered if she’d heard right and he turned to her.
“I always go up to the bridge to see the launch,” he replied. “I figured you’d wanna come along.”
“Would it be alright?” she wondered.
“It’ll be fine,” he replied, walking away again. “Just stick with me, stay out of everyone else’s way and you’ll be fine.”
Kristine nodded as she turned to the computer to type the information he’d just given her into it and he hesitated for a moment before turning and walking away to do something. Kristine hadn’t failed to notice his hesitation and couldn’t help but smirk for a second then dropping it.
This is gonna be interesting, she thought.