Heart Of Darkness

So Alike

Almost a year at Starfleet and my training hadn’t gotten any easier for me. Especially, my defence classes; I was supposed to block the attack and I always ending up getting hurt myself.

So, once again, I found myself in Medical waiting to be seen. I looked around and saw some people that I knew that were like me; finding it hard.

Will it ever get any easier? Right now, I wished I could speak to my brother about all this, but he was probably off exploring the galaxy - Just where I wanted to be! A few memories were coming back to me of how my parents talked about their experiences, making it sound so amazing. I just didn’t think it would be this hard.

Just then, I heard someone call my name, knowing instantly it wasn’t the voice I expected. I looked over to see a different nurse to the one I was used too.

I slowly got up, feeling even more depressed. As I made my way over I wondered where Miss Obere was; I hoped she was O.K and it was just her day off or something. This nurse certainly wasn’t anything like her; Not one word was spoken as I followed her over to an empty bed. I truly didn’t like her. What good was it being a nurse and not communicating with your patients? My Mother taught me that you should reassure them at all times!

“Please take a seat, Dr McCoy will be right with you.” The nurse finally stated before turning around and walking away.

I felt a little relief that I still had the same Doctor. I looked around and saw Leonard attending to another patient a few beds down; At least not everything had changed. I should be used to change by now; people in my classes kept changing, including the classes themselves and that was one thing I truly didn’t like. How could I make friends long enough if they kept moving on ahead of me in training? I knew deep down it was my own fault; My two left feet again!

It seemed that only this placed stayed the same, except for Miss Obere this time. But at least I was always seen by the same doctor which I was glad about; Leonard and I were getting on very well - Who couldn’t get on with him? He was very amusing and so easy to got on with... despite is grumpiness!

All of a sudden, I noticed that Leonard was now looking over at me and I saw the edges of his lips twitch. I realised then that I still hadn’t seen him smile completely. I was certain he would look lovely with a smile on his face and I wondered if I was up for the challenge.

“So Miss Curtis, what’s the problem this time?” Leonard asked as he approached me.

A smile certainly started forming on my own face as Leonard came to stand in front of me and instantly started scanning his tricorder around my head and down towards my chest. “After all these months and you still won’t call me by my first name,” I stated to him.

“That would be inappropriate. While you are my patient, you will always be Miss Curtis.” Leonard lowered his arm and took hold of the pad he had and started tapping his fingers on it - That was one thing about Leonard, he could multi-task very easily. Even though, he complains that he can’t.

“What if I got married?” I asked him.

“Are you planning on getting married anytime soon?” He asked me without taking is eyes off the pad.

Why, Oh why did I speak without thinking first. I had now started a conversation that I wasn’t comfortable with. I couldn’t see myself getting married at all. Marriage was a scary thought for me: Being connected to one man and putting so much trust in that one person. “I doubt, I’ll ever get married,” I stated in a quiet tone.

“You sound just like Jim,” Leonard stated while his fingers continued to work on the pad.

I couldn’t believe Leonard had just said that; I wasn’t anything like Jim, so why did he say that? Jim would never settle down with just one girl and I just couldn’t see myself putting that much trust in one person. In a way, I could see Leonard’s point of view. We both didn’t see ourselves getting married. “With the way Jim is going, he will never settle down... Never mind getting married.”

“He will in time when he meets the right girl,” Leonard stated before lifting his eyes over the pad to look at me. “Now, Miss Curtis. Are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“I just wanted to come and see your lovely smile,” I added with a smile of my own - Hoping it might encourage him to do the same.

Leonard’s lips instantly started lifted a little and I truly thought it had worked but to my disappointment, it didn’t last long and they went natural, once again.” As amusing as you make that sound, Miss Curtis. I have a job to do here and that’s to get you well again, not...”

I couldn’t help but burst out laughing; Leonard was so amusing when he went on like this, but I couldn’t let him finish. I wasn’t willing to give up on him. I was determined to break down his wall and get him to relax more. “Did anyone ever tell you, you look so cute when you go on like that?”

Leonard’s cheeks started growing a little, but once again it didn’t last long. “You and Jim are more alike than you think.” He instantly changed the subject.

“Does Jim think you’re cute as well?” I couldn’t help asking.

I eagerly watched as Leonard’s lips started twitching again. They slowly started lifting again. Was this it? Would I finally see him smile for the first time? I found myself staring at his lips willing them to do my bidding. ‘Go on, you can do it’... And in that moment I saw a proper smile, smiling back at me. I did it! I smile back, feeling very pleased with myself. To my disappointment, Leonard was the one to break the smile first and he quickly looked at his pad again. I decided to give him a break for now and finally tell him why I was here. “Would you believe it I tripped over my two left feet and I fell on my hand, I probably just stretched one of my ligaments.”

“Well, that’s nothing new for you,” Leonard stated as if nothing different had just occurred. “But, allow me to check that for you.” He finally placed the pad down on the bed beside me.

I held my hand out towards him and Leonard placed his hand on my arm and took a closer look at my wrist.

“I know I have said it before Miss Curtis, but I will say it again. You would make a good nurse or maybe even a doctor yourself.”

“And I will tell again, that my heart is set on protecting people.”

“You could still protect people by helping them get well again,” he stated while gently placing my hand back into my lap. “At least your training wouldn’t put you on the patient end.”

Suddenly, I remembered how my mother used to take care of me whenever I injured myself as a child -I really loved those memories; My mother and I really bonded as she explained my injuries to me and how to make it all better again. I was truly fascinated by everything she had said.

“Why does that bring tears to your eyes?” Leonard asked in a gently tone interrupting my thoughts.

My mother suddenly vanished from my vision and Leonard’s concern face came back into focus. It took me a moment to take in what he had just asked me. Not quite believing I was showing my emotions like an open book again. This was another one of my faults; I could never keep my feelings bottled up,they always came pouring out for the whole world to see. My brother would tell me to quote ′I know am tougher than this′ whenever I was so close to letting it all out. But sometimes it just creeps up on me, without realising it. I instantly reached my good hand up and started wiping the tears away. “It’s nothing!” I quickly added, hoping he would let it go.

I noticed that Leonard continued to stand there staring at me with that same concerned look and I knew where this was going. I truly wasn’t in the mood to spill my memories. Especially, the ones involving my mother; I wanted to keep them to myself.

“One thing I can’t stand to see is one of my patients so close to tears. So out with it, Miss Curtis.”

“Just memories of my mother.”

“You said your mother was a nurse in Starfleet.”

“Yes, she worked on the’Harriet...’” I started to say. “Until it was attacked with no survives.” I finally added after a silent pause. My worst memory suddenly came back to me; Of Karl telling me that we would never see our parents, ever again.

Leonard didn’t say anything he just stood there staring at me as if waiting for something. But what? I decided to continue - In a way, I liked talking about my mother, just not the bad parts. So I decided to turn the conversation around a little. “My parents were both known for working on the’Kevin’ though.”

Leonard started frowning at the name before saying, “both of Jim’s parents were on the Kevin as well.”

“I know they were.”

“Both of your parents survived the Kevin...”

I quickly interrupted Leonard. “I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. I was born three years later!”

“I’m sure they are proud of you for still coming to Starfleet despite what you have been through with them.”

“My parents were proud to be in Starfleet, that’s why my brother and I came here too.“I decided not to add the part where I had no choice; What with no money and losing the house. He didn’t need to know that part anyway.

As Leonard picked up his pad again, another memory came to me. This one of my father and the way he talked about Starfleet, ′Starfleet is the best thing I could ever have done, it’s where I met your mother and all the friends I have made. We are certainly one big family on the ‘Harriet.’ I will never forget his words and that’s what I prayed for as well.

Leonard took that moment to interrupt my thoughts again. “At least, I managed to get you to smile again.”

I realised that Leonard had turned this conversation around. He was very good at doing that, he surely hated all the focus on him.

“Now, I’ll get that wrist of yours wrapped up and I’m sure you know what to do after that.”

“Rest! Give it time to heal.” I quoted my mother’s words.

Leonard signalled one of the other nurses over to him. “Miss Curtis needs her wrist wrapped up,” he stated as the same nurse from earlier approached us. The nurse started to walk away, I assumed she was getting the items she needed. Leonard instantly turned back to me. “Now, Miss Curtis. I will leave you in Mrs Hudson’s hands and I sure hope I don’t have to see you anytime soon unless you decide to take my advice and change your training.”

Would Leonard ever give up on trying to convince me I should be a nurse and not part of security? But I knew that no matter how much I loved the nursing side of things. I would stick to protecting people and prevent anything like that from happening with the ‘Harriet’ ever again.

I really didn’t want this conversation to end; I truly enjoyed chatting with Leonard. “Do you do this to Jim as well... Tell him what he should be doing?“I added as an afterthought.

“As a matter of fact, Ido...”

“And let me guess, he doesn’t listen and does what he wants.”

“Just like someone elseI know.”

Not again! Why did Leonard always compare me to Jim? I was determined to find out. So as the nurse came over and started to wrap up my wrist, I glared back atLeonard. “Tell me, Dr McCoy. Why are you always comparing me toJim? From what I know of him and what he does, I can honestly say I’m nothing like that.”

“You talk as if you know Jim well.”

Great, why did I have to go and say that? Another fault of mine; I spoke before I realised what I was saying. Now I would have to tell him about mine and Jim’s past and I was hoping not to go through that again. Maybe I could just shorten it and Leonard would let it go at that. “Let’s just say we go way back, not that Jim remembers.”

“Just remember Miss Curtis, people change all the time. You just need to give them time to realise their mistakes, or in Jim’s case... Grow up!”

I didn’t think Jim would ever grow up, he seemed to love living life his way and not caring about anyone else or who he hurts along the way. “I doubt Jim will ever grow up.” I quoted aloud.

“He will when he finds something worth settling on.”

Maybe Leonard was right, but what was it that Jim needed to help him settle down and realise what life was all about? Leonard certainly was a good friend to have - Did Jim even realise how much of a loyal friend he had? “I’m glad Jim has one loyal friend to look out for him.”

“I must say you talk very calmly of him, not like most of the girls he has been with.”

I couldn’t believe that Leonard thought of my as one of his ‘girls’; Who, Jim had had his way with. Well, I’m certainly going to put him straight on that one. ”I’m not one of Jim’s...” I suddenly realised I was raising my voice and instantly lowered it a little. “Ex’s girlfriends.“I finished saying in a calmer tone.

Leonard quickly added, “That’s a polite way of calling them, I must say.”

“Jim and I were childhood friends until...” I suddenly stopped myself when I realised I was about to tell him about my near death experience.“Until I was 10 and my family moved away,” I told him instead.

“So in a way you and Jim already have a connection.”

“I wouldn’t quite call it that and whatever we did have...” I stopped myself, once again. Get a hold of yourself, Laura - You are never going to bring that memory to the surface. “He broke that trust years ago,” I added as an afterthought.

“Connections like that can last a lifetime. You just need to find it in your heart to forgive and forget.”

I know that day will haunt me for the rest of my life. I doubted would ever forgive him; How can you forgive someone who almost got you killed? “He certainly makes that very hard to do. Especially, when it seems like he hasn’t grown up and learned from his own mistakes?”

“I’m sure he will in time. Life as given you both another chance; Why do you think you have both come to Starfleet at the same time?”

“Just unlucky, I guess.”

“I don’t know what he was like before, but I know that all Jim needs now is friends to stick by him,” Leonard said before nodding his head at me and slowly walking away.

The nurse continued to wrap my wrist up and it got me thinking that maybe I had been too tough on Jim, but I couldn’t change that now; As much as I thought that maybe Leonard was right about him. Jim was still Jim and that made us totally different - At least Jim had Leonard as a true friend, and that was more than what I had.

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