“Leonard McCoy this is completely your fault.” Jocelyn spat.
“What did I do now?” Bones sighed in exasperation. He really didn’t want to talk to his ex right now. However Jocelyn said it was urgent and it had to do with Joanna. There was no question. He had to take it.
Jocelyn was so angry that she could barely speak. “It’s your, your damn McCoy genes!”
He raised one eyebrow at the screen. “Excuse me?”
She sighed and pursed her lips looking off screen. “It’s Jo.” She said finally. “She is a McCoy.” She bit the name out like it was a deadly disease.
“Damn right she is!”
Jocelyn just rolled her eyes. “No Leonard. You don’t understand. She is exactly like you.”
“I seriously doubt that. Seeing that she is a 16-year-old girl and I am a grown man.” He drawled slowly, trying to ignore the pounding that always developed in his head with her.
“Don’t play games with me!” She snapped angrily. “You know what I meant!”
“No,” Bones stated clearly. “I actually don’t. Care to enlighten me?”
Jocelyn ground her teeth together and if looks could kill, he would be dead. “Jo has turned into you. She is completely obsessed with medicine. She swears all the time. She even grouses like you!”
“Yes! I don’t know how this happened!”
“You mean, you don’t know how this happened since you have barely let me have contact with my own daughter?”
Jocelyn didn’t answer.
McCoy felt the ridiculous urge to grin. All of those fears that Jocelyn would have destroyed all traces of him disappeared. His little girl was like him. “How is she doing?”
“What do you mean? I just told you!”
“In her classes! Is she taking any medical courses at school? Has she started looking at colleges with good pre-med programs yet?”
On the screen Jocelyn just stared at him, outrage building on her face. “You are proud of her.” She accused coldly, “You want to encourage this behavior.”
“Of course I do!” Bones beamed and laced his fingers behind his head. “My little girl is growing up.”
Another glare pierced the screen, before Jocelyn stalked away from the chair. Her shrill voice could be heard yelling. “Joanna McCoy! Get down here and talk to your damn father!”
There was the thunderous sound of feet on stairs and then sliding into the chair was a much happier face. “Daddy!” Joanna said excitedly. “I didn’t know Mom called you!”
Bones chuckled, “Yeah. She was upset with you.”
“Oh god, she is always mad at me.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Honestly I wish she would just shut the hell up sometimes.”
“What, Daddy?” She raised one eyebrow at him, a mischievous look on her face. “Don’t tell me that the exact same thing hasn’t gone through your mind.”
McCoy leaned back in his chair, awe struck. He recognized that facial expression and that tone of voice. Good God. Jocelyn was right. Joanna was exactly like him. He knew that he should probably scold her for the language, but he was just too proud.
“Is Jim there?” Jo peered around the edges of the screen. “I want to say hi and ask him how many times he’s had his ass handed to him this week.”
Jim was off planet with another one of his girlfriends doing God knows what. Well, whatever the STD's he brought back would be the problem of the medical bay. Certainly this was not going to be explained to his daughter. “Sorry kiddo. He is occupied at the moment. Listen, you mother says you are interested in medicine!”
She smiled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Yeah, I want to study to become a trauma physician.” A evil look crept into her eyes, as she bit her lip. “I haven’t told Mom this yet, but I am considering joining Starfleet.”
Joanna lifted her chin proudly and crossed her arms. “Now don’t you try and talk me out of it. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I am going to probably think about it for a long time more. I wouldn’t join until after I finished medical school.”
McCoy sat reeling. There is no mistaking it. Joanna definitely had the McCoy genes. Although that glare was completely her mother’s. He wondered how many other more subtle traits she shared with him. Did she sleep on her side? Play pranks on her friends? Did she trust her instincts more then her head?
“When did this happen?” He murmured, mostly to himself.
“What?” It appeared Jo had heard him.
“This.” He gestured between them, and smirked. “When did you turn into a McCoy.”
“Oh, Daddy.” She sounded like she was humoring him. “Haven’t you realized it yet? I’ve always been a McCoy. This is just the first time anyone else has bothered to notice.”
Guilt ran through him, and he grimaced. He knew that he should have been more active in her life. Hell, he tried to be! But it was hard when he was off in the outer reaches of outer space and Jocelyn wouldn’t let him near her! “Jo-“ He started, shifting in his seat.
She shook her head swiftly, half smiling. “Don’t worry about it Dad. I get it. Life’s a bitch.” She glanced off screen. “Look, I have to go. I love you. Give my love to Jim too. I’m sure he is somewhere over there. Probably half naked if I know anything about him.”
Bones felt his lips twitch upwards, but scowled instead. “All right, kid. I will. Love you too. Try not to drive your mother too crazy.” He smirked slightly. “After all, she could divorce me but she could disown you.”
Joanna smirked back at him. “Well when that happens I’ll just move to the Enterprise and stay with you or Jim. Think of all the fun we’ll have! It will be like a giant sleepover!”
He blinked at the sarcasm once. “Before you go, I want to say one more thing. I’m proud of you. Don’t you ever forget that.”
Jo beamed at him and for a moment he felt like he was seeing his little girl again. “Thanks Daddy! Bye!”
Bones sat there in front of the dark screen long after the transmission ended. Thoughts flew around his head as he frowned. How much had he missed? How much more like him would she be if he had actually been around? In some ways was it a good thing that he hadn’t been?
He had always known that he would have been proud and supportive of whatever kind of woman she turned out to be. But he had to admit that he was particularly pleased that she was so much like him. His little girl really was growing up.