|Molly Hooper is just fine, thank you (ofsternerstuff) wrote in wariscoming,|
@ 2015-08-25 16:49:00
There was so much to do, so many plans to make. She and Jemma had quite a few decisions to make and frankly it all seemed rather overwhelming at times. She was fortunate the university was going to help as much as they could; the TA would be an absolute blessing when it came to the papers and preparing the lessons, and being able to have a bit more free time meant that maybe she could eke out some personal time for herself, try and have a life in Lawrence that was worthwhile again.
She was sleeping better now, thankfully. The collapsed med centre didn’t haunt her so much, and she supposed she had Marcel to thank for that. She felt a pang at the thought of him. Another friend gone, it seemed. Back when John and Mary and Ava had gone, when Harry and Livvy had been taken, when Khan had disappeared in front of her, she had gotten so sad, so distraught, and she had wondered why she bothered. The fact she took Marcel’s disappearance as a sad occurrence but nothing out of the ordinary troubled her. She didn’t want to be blasé about losing friends and close acquaintances.
At least she felt up to making new ones, she supposed. She’d tried and perhaps been successful a bit at putting herself out there lately, though she chided herself at times that she should try harder. So she had spoken to one of James’s friends from home in private, Leonard McCoy, about seeing if he had thoughts on what he might want in the med centre. Truthfully he should probably talk to Jemma, as she was the one who had experience with futuristic technology thanks to her time in S.H.I.E.L.D., but she had been curious about McCoy based on what she had heard from James and what she had heard from Khan. And she had no doubt McCoy was probably interested in her, all things considered.
She took a sip of her coffee and then looked over at him. She had suggested the park, to give them relative privacy. She still hadn’t watched Khan’s movie, and she never really planned to, but she did watch the first one and she gathered McCoy had a tendency to sometimes raise his voice. This part of the park was rather secluded, so no one should pay them any attention if he did. “I’ve heard quite a few things about you,” she said finally, giving him a smile. “Most of it being very high praise. James thinks very highly of you.”
McCoy was slowly getting used to Lawrence, but that didn't mean he liked being stuck here in the past, away from technology, away from just about everything he knew. Then again, he hadn't exactly left a lot behind at "home" and maybe he was okay with being back on terra firma, at least, even if this was a long way from the Earth he knew.
He supposed Jim found it easier to feel at home here, both due to time and because he didn't imagine Kansas was as different from Iowa as it was from he east coast. The technology was the hardest thing to adapt to and McCoy had just been here weeks. He was still growing used to how behind the people here were compared to his own century. Still, as much as he liked to grumble and complain, McCoy was trying to make the best of things. He'd talked to a few of his fellow displaced and he was doing what he could to help with the new med center that was being built. Meeting Molly today was a part of that, but he'd also talked with Zane about the kind of medical technology he was used to. If he really could develop some of it that way Jim had boasted he could, then maybe life here in Lawrence wouldn't be so bad.
McCoy looked over at Molly in surprise when she said that Jim had spoken highly of him and then he laughed out loud. "Somehow, I doubt it's been all complimentary," he said, clearly amused, "but now I'm curious about exactly what he has been saying about me."
“Well, most of it has been,” she said with a soft laugh. “He said you were the best doctor he ever met, and one of his best friends. He said you were really quite entertaining when drunk, and you had very interesting stories to share. He also said you could be the most pessimistic person on the face of the planet but it was all part of your charm.” She had some more of her coffee. “And I think once he said you would probably be the one most likely to kick his arse for stupid things he had done and actually make it hurt. You and Spock, I think.”
She leaned back on the bench. “He was quite homesick at times,” she said. “He missed all of you very much, and it didn’t help that the only other person from home was someone who didn’t care for him very much.. So I think he exaggerated a little bit on your positive qualities, but not too much. But I understood I was probably doing the same about my friends from home.”
“Well, that’s all true,” McCoy admitted, “especially the part about kicking his ass for being such an idiot.” There was a hint of affection in his tone. He might grumble about Jim and all the stupid crap he pulled, but that was mostly because he cared about his friend and he worried that all those stunts were going to get him hurt or killed one of these days.
He studied her for a moment, trying to reconcile what he’d been told about how this woman had been involved with Khan with the person who sat in front of him. She seemed nice. Friendly, compassionate. So many of the things Khan wasn’t. Admittedly, he was a little biased after the things that man had done, but he couldn’t see how that pairing had happened.
“Didn’t care for him much. Ha. That’s an understatement,” he couldn’t help commenting with a shake of his head.
“I think if you two actually get into a physical altercation we should be fully prepared for broken bones and things, then,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve taken all of James’s self-defense classes. He knows quite a bit about that. And if you could manage to hurt him...well, that might be a fight we’d need to sell tickets for.”
She had some more of her drink. “True, that is an understatement. I heard things from both sides about how much one of them irritated the other, though it seemed to be mostly irritation by the time I was here. I think they had mostly made their peace during the apocalypse, and I arrived after that.” She paused. “I know you probably think I take Khan’s side in all of this but I’m more like Switzerland, I suppose. Neither Khan nor James has told me exactly what happened, and I have no intention of ever watching that particular movie, and I’d prefer my perspective stay that way. I just know how James and Khan have acted while I knew them here, and while I’m fairly sure James is pretty much the same except maybe more mature, Khan was very different, I gathered. And I prefer to remember how he was here than know who he used to be.” She looked down at her drink. “I know that sounds silly, but I do hope you respect that.”
“Verbally. I kick his ass verbally,” he corrected. “I’m not much of a fighter, myself. Mostly, I just yell and call him names.” Truthfully, he wasn’t usually a fan of violence. It kind of went against his oath to help people. McCoy knew there were times when it was called for, but he wasn’t likely to be the one doing the hitting.
As a rule, he didn’t hate many people, either, but Khan was on his list. The man was responsible for a lot of deaths. Jim’s included, even if he hadn’t actually stayed dead. “You can’t really be neutral if you don’t know what happened,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s your choice if you want to remain ignorant to the truth, but Khan’s a master manipulator. He fooled a lot of people, he probably fooled you, too. Whatever face he was showing you, it probably wasn’t the real him. Hell, I don’t know if any of us know the real him, but I know what he’s done and I know a lot of lives were lost because of him and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him, no matter how different he pretended to be.”
He had to force himself to cut off his ranting then and he looked off into the distance as he took a long pull at his own drink. He liked what he knew of Molly, but she was a damned fool if she thought Khan was someone to be trusted. Jim was, too, if he’d been merely irritated with the man. McCoy was glad he was no longer here. He wasn’t sure he could co-exist in a world where Khan was allowed to roam freely.
She looked down at that. She had known this was going to be difficult. She hadn’t expected any of the rest of James’s friends to be anywhere near as...well, understanding, she supposed, of Khan as James had been while they were both there. “Perhaps he did,” she said. “To be honest, I’ve been fooled before by people who were rampaging psychopaths. But what I had with Khan felt different. Whatever it was that had happened in your home, I don’t doubt it was horrible and that he took great glee in what he did. But I’ve always believed people can change. And I’m not the only one. That’s the basic principle that the people who are brought here go by. You get a second chance when you come here. You can muck it all up, of course. It’s your right. Or you can choose to be better, do things differently. And he chose to do things differently.”
She watched him turn away. “I think, perhaps, this is a topic we should simply agree to disagree on,” she said. “I think this is something we’re always going to feel differently about because I think, essentially, we both knew two different versions of the same man, and neither of us are going to be able to reconcile our version with the other. James would, because he knew both, but neither of us are James.” She gave him a small smile. “Does that sound fair to you?”
No, it doesn't sound goddamned fair at all was his first thought, but McCoy forced himself to take a deep breath and not rush in without thinking. She had a point, much as he might not like to admit it. Besides, he could tell that no amount of listing Khan's flaws would make her see reason. She would stubbornly refuse to believe the man hadn't really changed, just as he would refuse to believe him truly capable of it.
"You may have a point," he agreed out loud, nodding his head. Agreeing to disagree was the best they could hope for and they had more important things to discuss. After all, despite their different perspectives on Khan, McCoy and Molly did have something in common - they wanted to help others. They were both invested in the new med center that was being built here. McCoy hadn't been around to see the old one, but he wanted to help.
"Besides, I doubt you invited me here to talk about him," he added.
She could tell it wasn’t sitting well with him. This was going to be something they would never see eye to eye on. She had loved Khan very much, and she was going to hold to the belief that he had changed, that he had taken advantage of his second chance here in Lawrence and become a better man. She was going to believe that he was a better person than James Moriarty had ever been because he had changed. She had to believe that with all her heart.
“No, but I figured we should get that out of the way first,” she said, sipping some more of her drink. “So. Tell me more about your experiences? I know the technology is different. I imagine it’s vastly inferior, but I’m assuming basic medicine hasn’t changed that much.”
McCoy nodded, deciding to leave it as that as the conversation turned to a topic he was a lot more interested in discussing. "We have a lot more tools where I'm from," he explained. To say the technology was inferior was an understatement, but there were some things even the advanced technology of the future couldn't fix.
Taking another sip of his drink, he gave a few examples of the things he had seen and the experiences he had in his own reality. He told her a little about what medical school and the academy had been like and then went into some details about some of the missions he'd been on with Starfleet, even going into a little more detail about alien anatomy.
She listened, absolutely fascinated. The more she heard the more she was convinced that Leonard would be a huge help to them. Jemma couldn’t keep running the clinic on her own, and Molly couldn’t offer 100% of her time to it, not with the classes at the university. She was glad that he was there and that he would be able to help them with this. Hopefully Jemma would agree.
“Well, I think things will work out nicely,” she said with a nod, finishing the last of her drink. “We should definitely talk more, and with Jemma next time, if we’re able. But I think it will be very good having you at the clinic as well. The displaced will be getting one of the best doctors in the known universe, and they couldn’t ask for more.” She offered him her hand. “I can’t wait to work with you.”
"Well, I don't know about that," he demurred, but McCoy was smiling as he took her outstretched hand to shake it, sealing the deal.
"The pleasure," he told her, "will be all mine, I'm sure, working beside two fine doctors who also happen to be so beautiful." Yeah, he was flirting a little there. He couldn't seem to help himself, but he actually was looking forward to getting the new med center going and working with both Molly and Jemma. If he was going to be stuck here in the dark ages, at least he could do something to make a difference.