He used to think that his life was actually quite good. His family loved him; he was able to study what interested him the most and became a doctor, just like his father. And he was good doctor, one of the best in the whole state. He married pretty woman which he loved and they had lovely little girl together. What could possibly go wrong?
It showed that actually many things could go wrong.
First to happen was his father getting ill. He was withering in front of him, the once strong man becoming weaker by each second. "I'll find the cure, Dad, don't worry," he promised him, when he was sitting on the chair next to the bed which held his father. The old man just smiled and nodded. "I know, Leonard, I know."
Little did both of them know that this was the time when all started to come closer to disaster.
As David McCoy waited for his son to find the cure, as long as he could, he did his best to keep his suffering hidden as much as he was able. But in the end, the pain showed to be too much for him to bear any longer. "Leonard, please… end it."
Four simple words and they changed his life completely. In the end, he eased his father into oblivion he wanted so much. The next week, he found the cure. As a celebration, he drank himself into stupor and as a further punishment he refused to take his own detox hypo, nursing mother of all hangovers through the next day.
During his father illness, Jocelyn was trying to be supportive. She was a nurse, so she knew how Leonard felt about it, knew how her father-in-law was feeling. As the time passed, her support was fading away, leaving only bitter reproach in its place. She didn't understand why it was so important for him to find the cure. She was drawing apart from him, leaving little Joanna with his mother for days at times, returning without any explanation for her absence. When his father died, and he was finally fully aware of what is happening, it was already too late.
Few weeks after discovering the cure, Jocelyn served him divorce papers. In the shock he was in he didn't really listened o what his mother and the rest of his family were telling him and lost in the court. Almost all his belongings were won by Jocelyn. He wouldn't mind the things – house, all his equipment and stuff he could get again. But she marked him an irresponsible alcoholic and he lost custody of their little girl. He lost almost every single right he had to his daughter. Add to this, Jocelyn and her 'daddy', as she always called him, made him such an infamous figure that for the few weeks he tried to find a job as a doctor in any of the hospitals in the South, no one even bothered to look into his papers. What they heard seemed enough for them. Ten "we're sorry but the position we were offering is already taken, thank you for your interest" later, he was ready to throw the towel in.
That was when he found a Starfleet recruiting poster. The letters on it were mocking him with their bright colours, with its 'Starfleet needs YOU!' Before he ripped it from the wall, his drunken mind noticed the 'looking for specialists in medical area' part of the whole poster. Medics. They were looking for fucking medics. Buying himself a bottle of bourbon, he wrote down the address to nearest recruiting area down. Riverside, Iowa. He could be there in few days. Very next day, equipped with several bottles of bourbon, he set off.
When he was sitting in front of the recruiter, the famous Captain Christopher Pike, four days later, he was very much aware that his looks were not marking him as the best option for a Starfleet medic. Pike himself told him so, after strict talking down and 'I hope that this drinking of yours is only temporary problem' speech.
And so he spilt what made him like that, showing off his personality for a bit. Pike's face darkened for a second, before it became neutral again. He let him speak, and after looking into his papers, he said: "Well, doctor, what is South's lost is our gain. Let me welcome you to the Starfleet."
He was thinking that everything is going to be damn fine, before Pike said: "Oh, I almost forgot. The shuttle leaves tomorrow at eight hundred. Do not be late, or we may leave without you."
No. God almighty let him hear wrong… Alas, as he made sure tomorrow, the cadets who came to take a look at the ship built in Riverside shipyards were really leaving with a shuttle and seemed damn happy about it, chattering all the way, giving him funny looks when they noticed him standing there.
Shuttles. Travelling in space.
He was very much doomed.