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Alternate Realities, Alternate Destinies

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Doctor McCoy and Christine looked up from the scanner and exchanged shocked glances. After so much trying, he’d finally had success! Once the shock wore off, they wrapped each other in tight embraces, barely containing thier excitement as they began jumping up and down.

He pulled away and held her at arm's length. “We finally did it!”

“Congratulations, doctor!” Christine smiled tenderly touching his arm.

“Thank you, Christine. Couldn’t have done it without you and M’Benga.”

She playfully slapped his arm. “Nonsense. We had very little to do with it.”

He smiled and kissed her hand. “Thanks none the same.”

“You should let the captain know.”

“I will later on. Right now,” he peered over at the chronometer. “How bout we finish up these reports so we can mosey on outta here early.”

She mocked saluted. “Yes sir!”

M’Benga came in early, as usual, and took the reigns. As McCoy passed him on the way out, he whispered, “We did it.”

M’Benga’s mouth was flapping up and down as the doors to sickbay shut and McCoy strutted down the corridor to the mess hall. In a hurry to finish up his work to leave early, he’d missed lunch and had very little for breakfast. He wasn’t a spring chicken anymore and needed to take better care of his health.

There weren’t many crewman in the officer’s mess. He quickly made it through the line to the replicators and got a chef salad, baked potato, broccoli, and t-bone steak with a juice and glass of water to wash it all down. The mess being practically empty, he had his pick of tables and chose one to the back of the mess hall and sat facing the door. He hated when people walked up behind him. He’d rather face danger head on.

As he slowly worked his way through his meal, a million thoughts ran through his mind. What would Jim and Spock think? After four previous failures, M’Benga and he had finally figured out the right combination sequence to solve the problem. He smiled mid-chew feeling pretty proud of himself.

Once he finished his meal, he headed down the hall to the turbo lift. Stepping inside, he patted his distended belly and reminded himself not to overeat. He looked down at the little pudge and tried sucking in his gut. The turbo lift opened.

“'Ello, Dr. McCoy!” Chekov greeted cheerfully.

McCoy's eyes lit up. “Well hello there, Miss Uhura, Mr. Chekov.”

Uhura's smile was bright enough to brighten up a rainy day. “Doctor." She gave him a quick hug. "Joining us in the rec room for game night tonight?”

McCoy snapped his fingers. He’d totally forgotten in all the excitement that it was game night. Jim and Spock wouldn’t be around until later. He’d have to wait to tell them. “Oh! That’s right, that is tonight innit.”

The Russian's accent thickened slightly now that he was off duty and able to speak freely. “Da. Ze keptin and Mister Scott have this vager to see who can vin ze most hands of poker tonight.”

The doctor crossed his arms over his chest and smirked. There were no bigger poker hustlers than those two. “Oh really? Is Spock playing?”

“No!” Chekov rolled his eyes. “He said it’s illogical for him to play because vulcans don’t lie.”

McCoy chuckled. “That’s Spock alright. In that case, my money’s on Scotty.”

Uhura gasped in surprise. “You’d bet against your own boyfriend?”

“You betcha.” He looked at the chronometer again. “Well, I’ll let you guys get going. Have fun.”

“Later, doctor.” They waved and started to their original destination.

He got onto the turbo lift and headed for the officer’s quarters level. A small sigh slipped out. They had time. It wasn’t a big deal, he told himself. When he got to their floor, he made his way to his own quarters instead of Jim’s. He didn’t want to doze off in Jim’s bed and Spock figure out his news by touching him. If he wasn’t there they’d assume he was just exhausted and wanted to sleep undisturbed if they came in late from game night.

He took a water shower and thought about what this meant for the future. Their breakthrough would help interspecies couples all over the galaxy. Granted, it wasn’t a high priority in Starfleet’s eyes, but the number of Starfleet personnel and their spouses this would benefit was not without merit.

Shutting the water off, he padded out of the shower and voice activated the dryer. In seconds, he and the bathroom were dry. He brushed his teeth, checked for stubble, then headed into the sleep area. After dressing in his pajamas, he picked up one of his antique books that was on the bookcase by the bed, and settled in to read a few chapters. He’d tell Spock and Jim about the breakthrough tomorrow.