idea_of_sarcasm: (Default)
idea_of_sarcasm ([personal profile] idea_of_sarcasm) wrote2009-09-27 12:02 pm

Fic: The Right Path Might Be the One Previously Travelled (Christine Chapel, gen)

Title: The Right Path Might Be the One Previously Travelled
Author: [ profile] idea_of_sarcasm
Fandom: Star Trek (2009)
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Implied death of a non-canon character
Prompt: It's not bad to say: My work is not what I really want, I'm capable of doing something bigger. Or I'm a person who needs love, and I'm doing without it. What's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is the first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better. -- Doris Lessing (born October 22, 1919), Nobel-prize-winning Zimbabwean-British author. She is the oldest person to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She has been given the Order of the Companions of Honour (established for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion) and the Order of the British Empire.
Summary: It's not that Christine doesn't like her life, it's not that it's not a worthy one, but in little flashes she is coming to realize that it's not for her
Author's Notes: I'm still scared of sharing any Star Trek fic that isn't anonymous. Written for [ profile] femgenficathon 2009. I fully intended on focusing on a Harry Potter character, but for some reason this grasped me instead.

It's after her third year of medical school that Christine drops out.

To be more accurate, she simply doesn't come back. She writes her final exams, aces every one, and when it comes time to show up at the hospital for her practicals she's backpacking across Europe with her younger sister, trying to escape the life that she so desperately wants to leave behind. Anna is the only one who won't ask any questions, didn't know why she wanted to dig around in blood and guts in the first place, so she's a welcome companion.

When Christine gets back, all she gets are the why's from everybody else. She never really gives them an answer that satisfies them.

She can pinpoint the exact moment that she gave up though, when she decided her dream wasn't worth it. It was a stupid simulation, a stupid fucking simulation, during her clinical skills and assessment lab. She was deciding the fate of a hologram, for Christ's sake. However it was a hologram that looked a little bit too much like her mother, one who had her stomach cut open, and no matter what Christine did with her tricorder, or with the old school butcher methods they used in medicine of the past, she simply couldn't put that hologram - woman - back together again. No matter how many arteries she clamped and sealed, or how many sutures she did, the woman still bled out. Then, she'd had to call the time of death. To most of her classmates it was just another simulation, another learning experience, but her own voice had choked up with emotion when she called out the time.

Later, after watching simulations in Starfleet, she understands that that exercise is medical school's version of the Kobayashi Maru, but it wouldn't have mattered even if she'd known that then.

Somebody, that will be real life. She will question every decision - if she was fast enough, if she was smart enough, if she should have done something else. And the thing is? Sometimes she will have made the wrong choice. She will have ended a life. Then, with everybody watching and judging, she will have to admit that fact as she ends their life with words as well.

It's not worth it.

She finishes her cell biology PhD, toys around with biomedical research, and finds it bores her to death within a year. She also has a fling with Roger Korby and finds he suits even less. Going in, Christine had known she wasn't suited for a lab, but it seemed the practical thing to do. She sticks it out for another year, because she feels she should, but eventually once she gets a paper properly published she hands her projects off to her undergraduate assistant and takes off.

Right into nursing school.

That all important 'everybody' doesn't understand. Her parents certainly don't. If it was blood and guts and dying people she couldn't stand, why is she doing this?

The answer she can't even explain to herself, she doesn't want to.

But there's something in there about trying to avoid that level of ultimate responsibility.


"Do you mind?" It's a pleasant female voice that interrupts Christine's meal - in which she is trying to simultaneously shove food in her mouth and not fall asleep all at the same time. It's a challenge. She's exhausted, considering she burned the midnight oil studying for the nursing board exam that just finished, and is thinking about nothing but her bed coming after whatever sustenance she can manage to fit in. She looks up to find a woman a few years younger than her holding a tray of food, motioning towards the empty seat in front of Christine. The Jonathan Brown dining hall at the university is packed to capacity, and she has only barely started to nod before the woman is sitting down.

To her credit, she doesn't try to initiate bothersome conversation, simply eats her food slowly as she studies the large textbook that she opens beside her.

As Christine finishes her meal, she's busy contemplating the merits of dessert when she hears the woman give a heavy sigh.

She's always been a curious sort, she can't help it, and, "Troubles?" comes out of her mouth before she can think twice about it.

The woman shrugs, tilting up the text. Human Histology is inscribed across the front. "I hate this class. I simply can't bring myself to care. Who cares what things look like under the slide? I'll just send it down to the lab when I want to know."

Christine can't help but laugh. "I did biomedical research for over a year. I spent a lot of time looking at slides."

"Oh," the woman flushes, "sorry."

Christine waves it off, "Bored me to death honestly, why do you think I'm not doing it anymore?"

The two of them share a smile of camaraderie, and the woman doesn't go back to her book right away. "You know what I hate even more?" She says finally, and it's as if she's confessing something completely depraved. She is obviously one of those 'keener' types who feels like they shouldn't find fault with the professors, or have an opinion of their own. Christine knows if she looks anything but encouraging the woman will cop out with, 'the meatloaf here' and go back to studying. However, as she looks on expectantly the woman offers, "Xenobiology. I'm moving back to Minnesota to do my residency - I'm not exactly going to come across anything more than human there. I really wish I hadn't taken that elective."

That's something Christine can't empathize with. In medical school and nursing training both she has been more attentive in those courses than anything else. She is fascinated by the differences from human, fascinated by what lays beyond.

"Everyone's different," she says with a smile, "I'm one of the crazy ones. I'm heading off to Starfleet for training next month."

She can still remember the allure that came when some commander had come in to talk during the seminar course that she had almost skipped. The thought of flying out to the stars, of seeing the universe rather than just the world, of being able to explore species that were more folklore here on earth than anything. The best and the brightest he said, and maybe she'd wanted that little bit of validation as well. Her aptitude tests had put her through.

"Really?" The other woman's eyes light up. "God, I've never even been off planet."

"Me neither," Christine admits, but she has no doubt in her mind that she won't have any problems. "I've always wanted to though."

It's funny, having this conversation. In going to university she'd left most of her childhood friends behind. In leaving medical training, she'd left most of her school friends behind as well. Research work really only left her friends with lab rats. She hasn't been chummy with anyone in a long time, and she's found that she misses it.

"Let me guess," the woman grins, "you have plans of being the chief medical officer of whatever the biggest ship is within the fleet?"

Christine snorts, "Much as I would like to pretend otherwise, they don't usually give nurses that station. I'll settle for being head nurse on that same ship, everybody knows they rule the roost anyway."

It's only a flicker, the briefest flicker, in the other woman's eyes - but it's there. Even if Christine hadn't seen it she would understand when the conversation becomes a bit more restricted, and the other woman a bit more pompous. Before, over course comparisons, the other woman thought she was talking to a contemporary - to her an equal. Now, with the admission, in her eyes she is not. Apparently, that changes everything.

She has liked everything about her profession thus far even if it's mostly academic up until this point, and has never considered leaving, but. . . .

Sometimes, there are frustrations.


"I swear," Leonard McCoy says, his voice a little unsteady, "that you might be able to give me a run for my money, Chapel."

He's the chief medical officer, her boss, but when he'd pulled out the bottle of Andorian whiskey she hadn't been about to say no. They have been relieved by those taking the gamma shift, and it's been a long day. Mostly because it had included the first death of their five year mission, a young ensign that was crushed by parts of their own ship when they had been fired upon by the Klingons. She and McCoy haven't exactly been on the best of terms even before that hardship; he's got an ego and an overly commanding manner, and she's never been exactly great at buckling under.

Time has taken care of a lot of it. They are both very good at their jobs, and have earned each others respect, but this is going a way towards earning a bit more regard.

She snorts, she can't help it. The whiskey has warmed her belly, and she hasn't indulged since the moment the fleet was attacked so her tolerance is down. Somehow, behaviour befitting an officer seemed all the more important, even when relative peace had settled again. Besides, she has a medical staff that she governs for him, and they don't need to see her sloshed in the mess hall. However here with McCoy it's easier to sit back and relax.

Beyond that, she ignores his statement. Contemplating the glass he's just refilled, she says, "This is truly the most magnificent stuff."

"I picked up a bottle when we stopped by that outpost last month. Cost me a lot in trade, but it was worth it."

Christine doesn't ask what he traded, she's fairly sure she doesn't want to know the answer. It might make her question exactly why the stock of medical supplies was off count last month. She also might think McCoy a self-medicating alcoholic if she didn't know better. He's a bitter curmudgeon of sorts, it's true, but he is unfailingly competent. They also just broke the seal on the bottle.

They sit in companionable silence for awhile. It's a mistake though, because her thoughts drift to the ensign.

"I feel so old," she says quietly, her thoughts turning maudlin. "Here on this ship, I feel so old."

Some of it's the boy they couldn't put back together, some of it is every patient that comes through here, and some of it is the children she answers to. She is not old, she knows that, but she has lived enough of a life that most of them haven't. She's become jaded too in a way many haven't yet.

"You think you feel that way?" McCoy snorts, "I feel like I should be tucking them in at night. Not that I think that green blooded hobgoblin was ever actually a child."

She would chastise him, but it's not worth the effort. He is who he is when it comes to Spock. She might take more personal affront, but in truth she barely knows the Vulcan. There was something in his detached manner that appealed to her when they first met - it's something that she's never been able to manage, and she finds it an attractive quality. Hell, if she had it, she'd be the CMO of this ship. However the attraction was fleeting, and she realized it was more to his nature than to him. He belongs to their communications officer regardless, and Christine is not one to poach.

They share a look of camaraderie over their whiskey.

"McCoy," she begins, but her cuts her off.

"Leonard," he corrects her.

Something inside her begins to loosen that hasn't since she stepped onto this ship. Right now, she feels like she has found a friend on the Enterprise. All she meets are people in the medical staff, and they are either the doctors who don't have much time for her, or the nurses whose lives she controls. Neither have exactly led to easy friendship yet.

"Christine then," she offers back, "Chris, if we're going to actually pretend to like each other."

Most of the night is a haze. They toast to the ensign, and to their wonderful staff, but mostly they are just trying to numb that pain of the first loss. Christine had seen that look on McCoy's face when he'd had to pronounce the death, and she knows she'd had to turn her head to blink back tears she didn't want anybody to see when one of the other nurses had begun to tend to the body.

When she's back on duty the next day, it's with a lighter spring in her step even if she doesn't realize it. For once, she has felt the belonging, even if it came about under difficult circumstances.

In reality though, nothing has changed.

By the end of the day they are patching up the captain yet again, yet another mission gone south. Christine hands Leonard a hypospray to administer a mild sedative, even as he pokes and prods at the captain's body, searching for other injuries. His eyes are flashing, and she can sympathize.

"Dammit Jim," he's muttering, "did you really have to hit the Ambassador? Christ knows I flunked diplomacy 101, but I would think abstaining from physical violence would be the first lesson."

The captain flashes a smile, just before he winces at a not so gentle jab from the doctor before the tricorder comes out. "Well, you know how it is. One minute we're standing on the surface of new Vulcan and the next. . . ." Whatever he is about to say is lost as he cuts off, wincing as the hypospray is administered.

The injuries are an easy fix, and she knows her presence is not needed, but still Christine is standing there with her arms crossed waiting for the story. They don't get to live the action down here in the medical bay too often, they just get to patch up after the fact. Well, with the exception of McCoy. As the doctor finishes, Spock has made his way into the examination room, and has his one eyebrow practically raised to Neptune.

"It was most illogical for you to intervene Captain," he says.

Jim winces, stretching out his arm. "Maybe, but it was necessary. You know that, Spock."

They are about to continue, to discuss what happened, and Christine waits to join in before she realizes McCoy is looking down at her. "Nurse," he says abruptly, and he nods towards the door in what is clearly a dismissive manner.

There is no 'Chris' here, not even a 'Chapel'. There is not even a wordless allowance that she is truly a part of this crew, and worthy of inclusion.

It is tempting to fight, but it's a petulant response when she is being clearly kicked out. Christine bites her tongue against a scathing retort, before she turns on her heel and strides out of the sick bay. It stings, both as a crew member, and as somebody who thought she had a friend on the Enterprise to be actively dismissed.

She likes her role, she does, but sometimes it's not easy.


It isn't often Christine gets involved in away missions. Somebody has to run things with McCoy off playing space cowboy, but more-so too she knows it's because she's 'just a nurse'. It would never be stated, everybody wants to avoid the ass-kicking she would give them, but she knows it's part of the underlying reason.

Now, sitting trapped in a cave with Lieutenant Johnson, she can really understand why.

He was bitten by the Betsmishness acromantula, and he only has hours to live by her best calculations. However the walls have caved in around them, and they have no way to escape until the rest of the crew finds them as transporter and communication abilities have been disabled. What she can't stand though is the fact he could be saved. There is a surgery that will save him, an old school method of removing part of kidneys that are targeted by the venom that will work where modern medicine won't, but she cannot do it. It has nothing to do with the lack of sterility or equipment - when faced with certain death otherwise, that could be worked around.

It's because she doesn't know how.

She doesn't even care that it's beyond her certification, she would trade her nursing license for a life, but it's simply that she doesn't know how. It is a surgery that would have been learned in residency, not something they teach to students still. In her nursing career she hasn't even had opportunity to observe it yet. Attempting it without any real proper knowledge will only make things worse, and risk death by her hand rather than the venom.

The frustration and anger boils inside her even as she does her best to make the young man comfortable - to do what she can to ease his way into death.

"Away team to Chapel." When the instrument cackles beside her with Uhura's voice it is both welcome, and too late. "Please respond. We have restored transporter and communication capabilities."

Christine looks down at the man beside her, who stopped breathing an hour before, and nothing she could do would revive him. "Lieutenant Johnson is dead," her blunt words are more to hide her emotion than unfeeling, "two of us to beam up." She places her arms around him even as they dematerialize and reappear on the ship.

There is a medical crew around them the second they beam up. Christine only shakes her head and steps away from the body as McCoy runs a scan over the Lieutenant. "He was bit by the acromantula before the cave-in," she says, "the venom ran through his organs, and he died an hour ago." She had been able to monitor it, but she couldn't stop it.

It's obvious they want more of a report, and they will get it, but right then Christine is only striding out of the transporter room door that barely slides open in time for her much to everyone's surprise.

There is something worse out there than watching somebody die because of a mistake you made, or of being faced with the inevitability of the failure of the human body. It is watching somebody die when you could have done something, when you know what the right course of action is. It is also watching somebody die when simply replacing you in the equation would have saved him.

Christine goes back to her quarters and simply sits there, staring at the wall for a solid hour.

She likes being a nurse, but sometimes she hates it all the same.


It's with McCoy injured himself and out of commission that it happens, her breaking point.

Doctor M'Benga is the ranking CMO, and is running ragged by the time she comes on shift, relieving Nurse Brown. She gives him a sympathetic smile, especially as an hour later they go into red alert with enemy ships approaching. Two hours after that they are being flooded by casualties, even as they themselves are struggling to work with the ship being rocked by torpedos.

The green Orion woman, one of the junior officers in engineering, is laid on the table in front of them - Gaila, Christine thinks her name is. She has taken a blast of radiation, and is shaking uncontrollably. Christine straps her down to the med bay exam table even as M'Benga administers a hypospray.

"Get me some Vesper serum," he commands as he begins to scan the woman.

It's right then that Christine knows this is not going to go well. Training dictates she doesn't question, that she fetches the medication for the doctor and they administer it; Training dictates it is his call to make. However Christine knows why he is choosing this treatment method. He has been on duty for nearly twenty-four hours straight, and he has many other patients waiting, and he is the only doctor on duty. He wants the quick and easy fix so he can move on. The serum will work, it will, but Christine doesn't reach for it all the same.

She knows it's the wrong decision.

In any human, this would work without question or complication. In Orions however, the matter is different. It interacts with their biochemistry in a different way, eliminating their ability to produce pheremones for one. Gaila already takes pills to mute the effect on others, but to eliminate them entirely is a different story; unlike human pheremones they effect her as well. She will cease being the person she is, as they are tied into Orion memory and personality as much as their biology - Gaila will be reduced to a child-like state, and have to relearn everything about herself.

"We should do a biophosphanate treatment," Christine says quietly, not wanting the rest of the crew to hear her questioning the orders.

M'Benga shoots her a glance, "I'm aware of the side effects."

The biophosphanates will cure her as well as the serum, but will take three times as much time with the need for constant monitoring - however with not a single side effect. M'Benga is thinking too logically, prioritizing as a Vulcan would rather than a human. He was one of the last human doctors allowed to study there before the attack on the planet, only barely escaping himself. He is not thinking of the hardship on Gaila, and how she might never truly be able to recover in any other way except physically - or if he is, he is dismissing it.

"She deserves better than that," Christine snaps, still as quietly as she is able. It's a nurse's duty to be an advocate for her patient after all.

"She will have a full life and recover with the serum, that is all that is important," he counters, "the hypospray nurse, now."

It might be her job to advocate, but when it comes right down to it, it is his decision to make. She does not have the authority here, and no matter how much experience she gets, no matter how right she is, as things stand she never will. There's something in her that will not countenance that realization.

Christine will never blame what happens on a lack of logic or the heat of outraged passion. She is well aware of what she is doing when she grabs her own tricorder, her fingers flying over the programming commands. This is one of the most basic procedures taught to any medical student - easy to diagnose the problem, and easy to do, so long as you have the knowledge. Before M'benga can stop her she has started the biophosphanate procedure, a light drip followed by a full body immersion.

For a moment she feels like sick bay has stopped just to stare, but in reality it is only the doctor beside her that is frozen.

"You are not authorized to perform. . . " he begins

"I don't care," she shoots back, "court-martial me later."

He gives her a look, and she is well aware she might have just flushed her career down the toilet, but if it gives Gaila back her life, herself, it will be worth it.

Christine likes being a nurse, but she isn't strong enough for it.


Jim Kirk doesn't do well with discipline. Everybody on the ship knows this. Spock is often relegated to 'bad cop' while he is content to make the more difficult decisions. Still, it is him personally who is handling her after the report from M'Benga.

"Was the serum treatment going to kill the Lieutenant?" He asks again, stressing the question, "Debilitate her when a better option was open?" For half an hour now he has been trying to give her an out. The thing is, there isn't one. M'Benga is a very competent doctor procedurally, there is nothing there she could dispute.

"No," Christine says briefly, and it's obvious the captain is frustrated.

"Listen Chapel, I'm really trying here. You're a damn fine nurse, and McCoy will have my head if you're in the brig when he wakes up, but I can't just ignore the fact you blatantly disobeyed an order - especially without extreme justification."

Christine closes her eyes. This is what it comes down to. However she can't apologize for her decision - she won't.

"It was the wrong decision," she says quietly. "It might not look that way on paper, but it was the wrong decision. He would have ended her even if he didn't end her life. He's a good doctor Captain but. . . .it was the wrong call, that serum. I know it wasn't my call to make, but I made it all the same, and I wasn't wrong to do it. I'll take whatever reprimands will result from it."

For once, there is no shying away from accepting consequences, and she doesn't just mean for her. There was a chance the biophosphanate treatment might have gone awry, and she might have killed a crew member, but there was the same chance with the serum. She knows it was the right decision, even if the outcome hadn't worked as well as it had. She knows she won't always be as certain, she knows she will question everything, but she knows she wants to be the one to make the decision. She isn't happy, she isn't satisfied. She is very good at her job, but it's not the right one for her. It's a demanding job, but she's not in it because she really wants it, she's in it because she's been too scared to go after what she wants.

Jim presses his fingers to his forehead, "If I get M'Benga to agree it will just be a minor reprimand on your record. I can't stop him from wanting it to go further, and I'll put you in the brig as your commanding officer if he does, but I'll minimize repercussions however I can."

There is a sense of relief that floods through her, certain with the Captain backing her she will still have a chance here in Starfleet.

"We can't lose you on the Enterprise," Jim says, then adds, "not that that gives you license to do as you choose Chapel, but well. . . .we can't lose you."

What comes next is a spontaneous remark without forethought, but Christine knows in that moment it is a long time in coming.

"You're going to have to lose me," she says with a crooked smile, "I will be petitioning for reassignment when we reach Earth for repairs."

The captain is startled, "I didn't realize things were so bad between you and M'Benga, if that's the case. . . ."

Christine shakes her head. "It's not that, I like him, I respect him. Besides I don't mean on making it permanent. It's just. . . .there's something I have to do."


Despite her promises, it's years before she sees any of them again, before she steps foot back on the Enterprise.

However, for all the frustrations she had, it's like coming home.

She walks around medical bay, trailing her hands over the beds and the equipment lightly. It is different, being here, even if the ship is exactly the same. Somehow she seems to be seeing it all through different eyes. In that moment she does nothing else but stand there with a small smile, enjoying having the area to herself before more than a skeleton crew descends on the ship again.

The spell is broken though, and she hears the sounds of the door sliding open.

Christine turns to find McCoy walking in. It's been a long time, but there's no mistaking the man. More lines have settled into the crevices of his face, and grey peppers the dark hair, but even if he's not as sprightly as he once was it's still the same man she served under. It's obvious her presence catches him by surprise, still, he covers it well.

"I hear you're an M.D. now," he says, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall.

"I am," she says, crossing her arms as well, "for going on eight years now in fact."

They both know he is aware of a little more than that. She has corresponded with Jim Kirk over the years, keeping that connection to the ship she loved. They know that she was assigned to the Yorktown for her residency, and they know she has been CMO on the Farragut for the last two years. She might have wanted to trade battle stories with Leonard at some point, but oddly enough they have never corresponded themselves, it has always been through Kirk. She knows he didn't take well to her leaving him 'high and dry' as he put it.

"What brings you to the Enterprise?" He asks, glancing around, "Nostalgia before your next posting?"

Christine takes a deep breath. She knows this won't go over well. "I'm assigned as a medical officer on the Enterprise." It's a step down for her, she had her own CMO position on the Farragut, but when Admiral Kean had come to speak with her she hadn't said no - it has never been about the power for her. CMO means administrative bullshit, it doesn't mean in giving up that post she can't be her own doctor. The thing is, nobody else had been willing to come here, to serve with McCoy. He has a habit of running fellow doctors off, and nurses for that matter too, and has the tendency to leave Starfleet on a whim as well. Not even the admirality not named James Kirk wants to replace him, he's brilliant, but they know he can't serve alone. Not for the good of an entire ship.

McCoy gives her a scathing glance, "I need a chief nurse Chapel, not somebody underfoot questioning my orders and diagnoses."

"You do need a good chief nurse," she agrees, "you can't survive without one, no doctor can. However, you know what Leonard, you need the latter. Keep in mind though I'm going to be too busy giving my own orders and making my own diagnoses to pay all that much attention to yours." There is some satisfaction at the ways his eyes narrow at that.

Christine really believes what she says too, that they need each other. If there's nothing else she has realized that this job is an ever learning process, till the day you take down your shingle. Everybody has different knowledge, different specialties, different skills. It doesn't mean she likes having her decisions questioned and examined, she hates every minute of it, but she needs it. There is a hubris that comes if you don't, and that leads to people getting killed. Even by the great Leonard McCoy.

It's obvious he is going to give in without much fuss, and not just because it's not his call to make.

Leonard rolls his eyes, taking in her confrontational stance, "You're awfully proud of yourself, aren't you?"

Christine thinks back to everything she has done, and everything she will do. It was hard to leave this ship, hard to leave nursing, but it was the right decision. She has changed from the woman she once was, and feels more herself than she ever has before. It's not easy, it wouldn't be satisfying if it was easy, but it's right in the way nothing else is for her.

"You know what?" She says, answering his question more seriously than he meant it, "I am."

Christine liked nursing, but she loves being a doctor.

[identity profile] 2009-09-27 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
This is really, really wonderful. It's very clear that you're in no way trying to put down nursing, just to show that being a doctor is a better fit for Christine. And the slow bend from "don't want the responsibility" to "I would be fucking good at this responsibility--better than some of my colleagues, in fact" is a delight to witness. Thank you very much for this. :)
ext_23449: Book addict icon (scarecrow hi)

[identity profile] 2009-09-27 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for the comment! Especially since I really tried to do that in the fic - only show that being a doctor would make her happy, not put down any other profession.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

[identity profile] 2009-09-27 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Absolutely great. I've always thought Chapel was intriguing and underused, and this path makes so much sense for her.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2009-09-27 11:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I'm the same, I'm glad when fanfiction fleshes her out in the way canon never did - and likely won't even in the Reboot universe.
Edited 2009-09-27 23:47 (UTC)
velvetmouse: (Default)

[personal profile] velvetmouse 2009-09-27 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh this is lovely. I really enjoyed watching Chapel's struggle to find the proper place for her in the universe. Nicely written.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (bookaddict)

[identity profile] 2009-09-27 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Since one of the later movies mentioned her being a full M.D. at that point, I figured in either the reboot universe or the TOS universe it wasn't just going to be an overnight decision for her - there were obviously things she wasn't satisfied with in her life.

Anyways - thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
ext_375859: (christine)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Every time I read a story like this one, I want to stand up and cheer loudly. I really liked the progression of her unhappiness until she breaks once more and leaves for a while. I don't see a reboot!Christine being happy with her lot and not wanting more and this is exactly the way she should be--overachieving just like the rest of 'em.

And it might be my OTP showing through, but the dismissive way McCoy treats her breaks my heart a little. Way to miss the point, I know. :)

ext_23449: Book addict icon (dance like nobody's watching)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 06:49 am (UTC)(link)
I struggled a bit in writing this, because I would never want to imply she couldn't be an overachiever being an awesome kick-ass nurse in Starfleet, but at the same time to me it wasn't overachieving for her because she wanted something different. An idea which mostly came through in the fact that even in TOS canon she went back for her M.D. However, my rambling aside, I'm really glad the progression worked for you and you enjoyed the fic!

(also, missing the point or not, I understand as they are one of my ST ships as well :). However I was a watching a TOS ep that I can't remember the name of, and she got dismissed in pretty much exactly that manner and I was, in certain circumstances that has to burn)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
This is just really impressively nuanced. Christine has such a perfect and clear POV. I admire how deftly you've given her a voice of experience and self-knowledge, and how carefully you thought through the moments that defined her life.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (live long and prosper)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! It actually means a lot to hear that the moments I chose worked well - it was hard to decide what to include to get the point across without effectively beating everybody over the head with it.

I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
This story illustrates why I'm so in love with Chapel - she's smarter than McCoy and most of the people ahead of her, and she doesn't remain humble. I don't think TOS did her much justice as a character but it gives writers the ability to carve out what we desire in a female scifi hero.

I guess what I'm trying to say is "Well Done!" Haha :)
ext_23449: Book addict icon (dance like nobody's watching)

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 06:53 am (UTC)(link)
Ha, well, while I like to think of Christine as very smart and kick-ass - it's right that canon doesn't give us a lot to work with, and it's mostly 'fanon' more than anything else. I admit I get picky when people give her too much unrealistic credit and attributes, overcompensating for canon, but I think she's an intriguing character.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is thank you for taking the time to comment, ha - and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
lullabymoon: (Default)

[personal profile] lullabymoon 2009-09-28 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
This is completely awesome! Your Christine is perfect and the plot fits her perfectly. I love it.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2009-09-29 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
Since so much of Christine is subjective, I'm very glad that my version of her worked. I'm really glad you enjoyed it :)
daphnie_1: Sherlock with his magnifying glass against a blue sky. (ST: Chapel)

[personal profile] daphnie_1 2009-09-28 03:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Chapel is one of my faverate characters now because of what fandom has dobne with her. This is well written, the plot is nicely thought out, and Chapel just shines. Wonderful work.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (only in fanfic)

[identity profile] 2009-09-29 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
Ha, yeah, in many ways she's an invention of fandom as much as canon - they gaveth, fandom expanded. I'm really glad you enjoyed this, thank you for commenting!

[identity profile] 2009-09-28 10:33 pm (UTC)(link)



I've so been in her position, as an underrated and undervalued professional, and gone back as a higher-ranked professional, and the difference in title alone makes so much difference in how one is treated. You captured that brilliantly here, in addition to her fear and her disappointment. So totally beautiful.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (dance like nobody's watching)

[identity profile] 2009-09-29 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
I can say that I've both seen and experienced something similar myself, so it was very easy for me to picture and empathize with. Thank you so much for the kind words, I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

[identity profile] 2009-09-29 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
this was really awesome. chapel's one of my favorites, and you portray her in a really deep and interesting way. major thumbs up!
ext_23449: Book addict icon (scarecrow hi)

[identity profile] 2009-10-02 12:25 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much! I enjoy so many of the Star Trek characters, but I have such a soft spot for her too :)

[identity profile] 2009-10-01 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
This is marvelous. The way you chart Christine's emotional journey is convincing and insightful.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2009-10-02 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, I'm really glad you enjoyed it!!

[identity profile] 2009-10-11 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh, this is really good. I love Chapel's growth.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2009-10-12 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it, thank you for reading!
ext_61669: (Default)

[identity profile] 2009-10-17 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, excellent story and characterization here. I love the gradual way she decides this really is what she wants. And then does it.

I'm not as familiar with Chapel in canon, so I think this will inevitably be part of what I see when I make my way into TOS.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (thumbs up benton fraser)

[identity profile] 2009-11-18 07:20 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry, that I missed this comment previously, but I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to read the story!

Chapel doesn't have an amazingly large amount of canon, even in TOS, and a lot is fanon extrapolation. A few of the elements I included in here are modified from that canon though, certain snippets of dialogue and situations.

Hoever 85% is just made up :)

I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

[identity profile] 2010-01-01 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Very nice. Very nice indeed.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2010-01-08 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!!

[identity profile] 2010-02-04 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
It's not that nurses don't sometimes decide to go into medicine. I personally know two people who did just that. If nursing is not right for you, and you think you might be a great MD, by all means go for it. But this weird backass trajectory into nursing just doesn't ring true to me. In the original series, the powers that be tried to do better by the character by making her into a physician, which didn't really address any of the issues that were so problematic about their portrayal of her role as a nurse.

This story doesn't address any of them either; instead, it says that if you are a nurse you have to be strong enough to take verbal abuse and lack of respect and powerlessness as a condition of employment, that these conditions are just part of the territory. I don't think that's right or true now and I certainly hope it won't be true in the twenty-third century.

The bottom line is I don't think that nurses are second rate, not in any sense of the word, and I resent the implication this fic makes that we are.

It's right then that Christine knows this is not going to go well. Training dictates she doesn't question, that she fetches the medication for the doctor and they administer it; Training dictates it is his call to make.

This is flat-out wrong.

No, a nurse's training dictates exactly the opposite of that. Nurses are obligated, by both our ethical code and our license to practice, to do more than "advocate" for our patients. We are obligated to intervene if we see anyone, whether it be someone in an ancillary profession, another nurse, or an MD, making a decision or attempting a procedure that would in our judgment cause harm to the patient.
ext_23449: Book addict icon (twinklestar)

[identity profile] 2010-02-04 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for your feedback. The funny thing was, going into writing this, I actually wanted to try and show that nursing was no means lesser, just not right for Chapel. That was a peeve of mine from comments from others about how peeved they were going to be if she was made a nurse in St: reboot if she was brought into the next film, as if that was somehow 'anti-feminist'.

However, I am not a nurse myself so I don't have the proper background, and I obviously didn't phrase things properly to illustrate both my point and how things actually are. I obviously missed the mark in how I wrote this fic.

I can't go back and change every single aspect of this, however I thank for leaving the constructive criticism all the same.