Character: Dr. Leonard H. McCoy – “Bones”
Pairings Included in Manifesto: No real pairings in the blurb, maybe in the recs, but you will see Jim Kirk and Spock. It is impossible to deal with any one of these men without the other two making an entrance.
Warning?: I know this is for a Het community and not a Gen one, and I will rec some pairing fics, but this character’s highest and best moments have always been in doctor/friendship/gen mode.
Blurb: Let me start out with: “I absolutely adore Bones McCoy!” Okay, now that’s out there. While I watched people go ga-ga over Kirk’s playboy self or geek out over Spock’s alien brilliance, I admit to being swept off my feet by an old-fashioned Southern doctor. I found the Original Series thanks to reruns and marathons on different cable channels over the years & loved the show. McCoy was my window to the Star Trek universe. Being a girl from Texas, he spoke like someone who lived in my town, and gave the entire show a sense of realism, of a potentially true future for me. While I enjoyed some of the other characters (& having a woman bridge officer was fabulous!), they did not really appear on my level. McCoy’s determination to be human while surrounded by all of the aliens and technology gave the show a realistic foundation that I’m not sure it would have had otherwise.
In addition, without McCoy, the balance of the crew would have been off. McCoy’s intense humanity, his deep wellspring of compassion, and his instinct for emotion helped to offset the scientific and technological extremes. This most obviously played out in the triangle made up of McCoy, Kirk, & Spock. Together, the three men made a wonderfully perfect human being! McCoy was the human, the passion, the one with the gut reactions; he offset the usually logical and pragmatic Spock. They gave Kirk opposing viewpoints to consider, combine and compromise with in order to make more balanced decisions. Besides this leading trio, McCoy held firm in the belief that old fashioned did not automatically translate to bad. With the others being so invested in new & modern technology, he had a skeptical and jaundiced view of it – his intense dislike of the transporter beam being the most commonly referenced! In a time when everyone is so pumped and driven to find the “next hot thing” and the newest do-dad, it is a breath of fresh air to have a man balance it out with a dislike for change. Not that he didn’t appreciate the wonders and advantages of technology, but he knew that it could get out of hand and do more damage than good. He kept a firm grip on his belief that “new” did not necessarily equal “better.”
A hands-on doctor, he has often been treated as purely emotional, and less intelligent than many other characters. Nothing could be further from the truth! Under trying and extreme circumstances, he developed new treatments, found new cures, and managed to come up with some inventive ways to treat patients. Working on alien life forms, on new planets with all the unknown dangers that implied, on a ship under attack – despite all of this pressure, he pursued his chosen vocation of healing with a wellspring of compassion rarely seen, and despite all of this remained a “man”. So many times, the “men” shown to have compassion either become effeminate or lose their compassion over time. He never did either. He is a wonderful role model for what a man can be as a healer.
Still, he had a compelling sense of humor and often showed his affection through teasing jabs and off hand remarks. In his world, being a doctor meant working to see a person fulfill all of their potential. This led to many of his actions – the most obvious cases being again with Kirk and Spock. When we see him pushing Kirk to get command back instead of sitting at an Admiral’s desk, he knows that behind a desk is not healthy for the man meant to lead people not push ships around the galaxy. When he needles Spock, he is not truly making fun of his Vulcan side, but he knows it is not good for him to repress his human nature. As Chief Medical Officer, he is the one finally responsible for the crew’s wellbeing, and a ship’s crew reflects its officers. To keep them in shape, he must keep the crew (particularly the command crew) on balance. If Spock needs someone to trade barbs with, so be it. If Kirk needs someone to just be an ear for venting, so be it. The best thing about McCoy as a doctor – he knows the physical aspect is only one part of it. He recognizes how important the emotional and mental sides are as well, and he takes that on.
Let me close with this: “I absolutely adore Bones McCoy!”
(While DeForest Kelley invented the role and made McCoy the wonderful human being he is, kudos to Karl Urban for managing to embody all of that as well. Perhaps a bit more biting, but we meet him closer to the divorce as well – some of those edges will no doubt soften as he finds family on the Enterprise.)
MOST OF MY RECS ARE REBOOT MOVIE-VERSE – ITS BEEN HARDER TO FIND GOOD HET-GEN FIC FOR THE ORIGINAL SERIES.
Fic Rec #1: The Feeling of Being in Motion Again
Why This Must Be Read: This is the start of something beautiful , how the good doctors meets a great nurse – and their interactions before, and just after the movie. I like this fic because Christine Chapel is independent, funny and able to keep up with McCoy – especially in their verbal sparring.
Fic Rec #2 The Contemplations of Doctor McCoy
Author: anime fan
Why This Must Be Read: This is a short, funny ficlet where McCoy is contemplating removing the dangerous entity known as Jim Kirk. Uhura shows up and offers to assist.
Fic Rec #3: The James T. Kirk Touch
Why This Must Be Read: Short, but funny – McCoy realizes how Kirk influences the crew in subtle ways and gives up trying to avoid the same. When the first sentence goes like this – “McCoy did not think Jim was hugged enough as a child.” – it is practically guaranteed to make you either smile or giggle.
Fic Rec #4: The Danger of Practicing Field Medicine
Why This Must Be Read: Innuendo! And plenty of it – a short funny scene pre-movie.
Fic Rec #5: I’m Not Cheap, But I Can be Had
Why This Must Be Read: Oh, my….Romancing the Stone ala Star Trek…go Netflix the movie, watch it, and then read this…I dare you not to giggle!
Fic Rec #6: Standing in the Doorway
Author: seren23 (what can I say, I love this author’s take on this pairing!)
Why This Must Be Read: A sequel my recommendation #1 – still funny, still a good set of interactions. I’ve recommended more than one by this author, so I’m going to say – just go read everything she/he wrote.
Fic Rec #7: I’m Too Old for This Shit
Pairing: Friendship fic
Author: Yami no Kaiba
Why This Must Be Read: “He'd had to come out of retirement for a second time to do this.” When Spock-Prime came through the black hole into the Reboot universe, what did McCoy-Prime think?
Fic Rec #8: The People He Sees
Pairing: Doctor & Crew
Rating/Warning(s): PG – some injury & angst
Why This Must Be Read: It is tough to be a doctor – especially given some of what you are going to have to see and deal with – from extreme physical injury to emotional distress. And you’re the one that has to fix it.
Fic Rec #9: Friendly Support
Pairing: Friendship fic – McCoy & Kirk
Rating/Warning(s): G - none
Why This Must Be Read: Another small ficlet showing the good doctor giving emotional support.
Fic Rec #10: Fathers & Sons
Pairing: Friendship fic – McCoy & Kirk
Rating/Warning(s): PG – slightly angsty
Why This Must Be Read: Everything by this author should be read! A short ficlet dedicated to all fathers – McCoy is there for a friend on a difficult day. A reminder that a doctor’s work should never just be about the physical.