„Lieutenant Y/L/N“, you said, handing over your PADD to the dark haired CMO. His eyes traced you shortly, then he grabbed your PADD, filing through it for a moment, and nodded. „Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. I’ll show you and our new nurses your quarters right away.“ He gave you your PADD back and started walking. For a lack of alternatives you trailed behind him. Not that he had prompted you to do so, but you got the undeniable feeling that he didn’t expect to have to. „You will be assigned to Beta Shift, as you’re a doctor, and we need one there“ he continued while striding through the Enterprise. „Medbay’s here. I’ll show you everything later. Nurse Wildner, Morgan, follow me.“ - you could tell the Doctor was the ‚no bullshit‘-type just by the look of him. He moved efficiently with some kind of permanent frown fixated on his face. You had heard of him of course. The famous Doctor McCoy, best friend to the even more famous Captain Kirk. The famous Enterprise. After you had left Starfleet Academy you had served three years on the USS Washington as an Assistant Doctor. You had applied to a position on the Enterprise just recently and it came as a surprise to you that you were not only considered but chosen.
„… you better remember the way to your quarters, otherwise you’ll have to rely on the floor map on your PADDs. I’ll not send people to fetch you because you forgot the way.“ you took a turn and changed floors. „We’re spread thin on supplies and personnel as it is, who would need those on a 5 year trip, anyway.“, he scowled, then stretched his arm out: „Right side - first door, Wildner; second door, Morgan; last door Y/L/N. There’s a replicator with standard settings, makes decent enough coffee, you’ll need it.“ For a second his eyes glanced over to his PADD, then he focused on his new team members again.
„I’ll have you all report in for a routine checkup at Beta shift in 3 hours.“ - at that you fidgeted slightly. „Is there a problem, Y/L/N?“, he asked briskly. This mans gaze was intense.
Your heart was pounding in your chest.. And since he was so close you could hear his heart pounding alike, slower then yours. The two nurses heartbeat was a faint throbbing in the distance.
But you would never allow him or anyone else to know that. Know what you knew. Know what you felt. Know about you. What you were. Different.
„Transfer personnel already took my medical exam before arriving, I can forward you the data right away“ - the frown on his face intensified.
„I am sorry, Doctor McCoy, if this is not standard procedure. I expected it to be, since …“ - „Alright, alright.“, he grumbled, „I’ll have a look at the data, just be there on Beta Shift. Get settled, everyone.“ and with that he turned around and was gone, leaving you and your new crew mates alone. You were off to a good start with your new superior officer.
„Well… uhm…I’ll have a look at my room and … see you later?“ you managed a half grin.
As the door of your room finally closed behind you a few minutes and half-hearted niceties later, you felt the weight of a mountain fall off your shoulders. Your first two hours on the Enterprise and you realized that this would be no walk in the park. Your CMO on the USS Washington had been more laid back - it was easy to manipulate your data, wriggle out of medical checkups and deceive your superiors just enough to blend in. It wouldn’t be that easy on the Enterprise, although you got away this time. Hopefully. Walking across your room, you noticed that your things had already been brought in. You opened your bags and filed through your stuff. Casual clothes, Uniform, a couple of books on radiation, general astronomy and alien linguistics, your favorite book about old world monsters. At the bottom you found a couple of unused hypos, your own little stash. No tranquilizers, though. There was no way you could’ve smuggled them in without risking to raise at least some concerns, so you would have to snatch some on your first shift when Doctor McCoy was away. Your ears twitched, but despite the shuffling of our neighbors left and right, the soft murmur of voices and the Enterprise herself it was relatively silent. You sighed.
It was not like you wanted to be sedated half your life, but whenever another doctor decided to check your vitals your heart rate and blood pressure had to line up with what was regarded as normal for a healthy young woman of your age. Due to your peculiar situation, your vitals were anything but that. So you had tried everything:
Meditation worked, but only if you could prepare for an upcoming examination and if you could keep your mind at ease for the whole procedure. This had once led to you getting a prescription for antihypertensives in your first year at academy. It had taken ages to get that off your record.
Breathing techniques could work in a pinch, with a healthy dose of distraction and lies on top.
Tranquilizers worked best so far - it took about three times the dose for a 90kg man to take you out, one would bring your vitals down far enough to pass the occasional, unavoidable test.
They had been your standard equipment since Academy, you always had a hypo on your person. You felt naked without it.
There were other effects, of course, that were more difficult to keep at bay. Some more, some less useful: Your hearing and sense of smell were unmatched, but by a few alien races. This had come in handy when working as a doctor. You were sadly not much stronger then a regular person, but your reflexes were good - so good, in fact, that you could’ve gone for it and become a pilot.
And then there was the change.
While able to force it by sheer willpower, there were also times were you couldn’t fight it back.
It was weird, it was painful and you had tried everything in your medical repertoire to cut it back as much at possible. Being on a radiation shielded starship, for example, already helped. The regular use of tranquilizers helped too. When you got your transfer orders, you had just started mixing up a new cocktail of tranqs and hormone stabilizers. You could keep it down to once every two months, but it was easier to go for once a month and just sleep it out in your room, curled up under the bed. How cliché.
Everything considered you had done well so far in your life. But deceiving Doctor McCoy would prove the biggest challenge you’d faced so far.