Continuing my unpublished Star Trek prose short story. Part 1 can be found here parts 2 & 3 can be found here and part 4 here.
STAR TREK: COURSE CORRECTIONS, PART 5
A doctor should never diagnose himself, McCoy thought recognizing all the signs of depression setting in as he wandered the darkened halls the Enterprise. Not only was Ensign Perez's fate uncertain and new fleet commander who would probably push Jim into a desk job taking command, but now one of Starfleet's best and brightest was wanting to paint a bullseye on his back for the immediate future. He desperately wanted to go back to Scotty's office and prescribe himself the remainder of his brandy but that would only get him through the night. The problem would still be there when the bottle was dry. Perhaps it wasn't really about Perez, Nogura, Jim or Chekov. Maybe it was about his own future. Maybe he was getting all fired up because he really hadn't given his own future any thought. Jim is doing what very few Starfleet captains have done: Bring his ship and crew home intact. The Exeter was still in service but just a few years ago it lost all hands but one: Captain Ronald Tracey. Tracey was left, in McCoy's professional opinion, as nutty as a fruit cake. The Intrepid and the Defiant were both lost with all hands as was the Excalibur. The Constellation was sacrificed after Commodore Matthew Decker lost his entire crew leaving him with only a scant few more marbles than Ron Tracey. Damnit, McCoy thought, maybe Jim does deserve a promotion and to be kicked upstairs. At least someone at command wouldn't be a total jackass. He considered that Chekov might even have a point about security. Sure, the danger is high but so is the reward. Even Jim first caught the eye of the brass working a security detail as a new fledged cadet at Axanar. Perhaps he was underestimating the young man. Instead if ending up fodder for the unknown he could end up with a chest full of ribbons and a quick path to the center seat.
So what the hell is really eating me? McCoy wondered. What did I expect? He knew what he wanted. He wanted to get home, spend some time on Terra Firma while the Enterprise was refit by Scotty, then ship back out with Jim. Hopefully Christine, M'Benga, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Giotto as well as some of the others like Kyle, DeSalle, Riley, Brent, Kelowitz, Arex, M'Ress and Hadley would sign on again. Hell, maybe that pointy eared hobgoblin would decide to stay on with Jim, he thought, they worked well together, so it would only be logical.
That was what he wanted.
Maybe you can get yourself a pony, too, McCoy admonished himself. That kind of thinking is just not realistic. The reality is that Jim deserved a promotion and Spock was the best first officer in the fleet and deserved a command of his own. Both Sulu and Uhura would be in line for promotions to Lieutenant Commander and thus would have the rank to be first officers to some lucky captain. Face it, Leonard, he thought, when you ran away from Earth, you found a family on the Enterprise and now you're being a selfish old bull because you don't want it broken up.
Reality versus fantasy. Maybe that's why I feel so damn cranky all the time, McCoy wondered. My expectations are too far from reality. His mind briefly flitted to the last days of his marriage and he quickly shoved it back down into the emotional black box where he usually kept it. Don't go there Leonard, he thought to himself, you better go be around some people so you don't go down that particular rabbit hole again.