The Children of Georgia
(Leonard McCoy X Reba Richards)

Prologue: To break a heart unintentionally

Standing around in the hallway before first block was a tradition that Reba, her younger brother Alex, Leonard, and his older sister Donna had shared ever since Leonard and Reba had come to Blanchard High school. Sadly something was changing and it was something that Reba was afraid of. Three out of the four friends/family stood near Reba's locker as she was grabbing her stuff for Ms. Holloway's English class. "Donnie where's Lenny?" Alex asked the question that each of them actually wanted to ask anyway. "I dunno kiddo I was sure he was gonna be here with us like he always is. I mean he was gonna get somethin' for breakfast first, but I didn't think he'd be gone this long" Donna answered solemnly making Reba's heart sink. Reba knew where he was, she didn't even have to guess because he had been there for the last month or so. Leonard had been so distant recently and it was breaking her heart because her worst nightmare had been coming true. She was losing her best friend and there was nothing she could do to get him back. It had started when that snake of a woman, Jocelyn Darnell walked into their lives at the dance that night. She probably had him under a spell because all he wanted was to follow her around like a sick puppy. That was not the Leonard McCoy that Reba Richards had known ever since she was five years old. "I betcha he's with Jocelyn again" Reba snapped slamming her locker and leaning her forehead against the cool metal. "Well can't blame em can ya? She is his girlfriend and she's probably got better than what we could offer up Reba" Donna offered though she was trying to be comforting it didn't really make matters better for Reba. "So it's ok to completely forget bout his own sister or his best friend? Whatever Donnie I'm not into getting into a fight this mornin' I think I'll jus head to the library for a while" Reba answered throwing her books into her messenger bag and then tying her brown hair into a tight ponytail. She then turned away from them and headed down the hallway, a sadness and depression burdening her pace.

As Reba neared the place that she and Leonard used to like to hang out in their spare time, she saw the book bag that belonged to her dorky best friend. Of course, one of the first things that caused her to be worried about Len was the fact that Jocelyn was way out of his league. Jocelyn was one of the popular girls who was practically a cheerleader and had been dating the captain of the raging raccoons, Clay Tredway, before that stupid dance that happened on Halloween. By the rules of high school and the old 1980's movies that the two liked to watch on a boring Friday night, stuff like that just didn't happen without the main character getting heartbroken or hurt in the end. She was a little jealous of course, but after she saw Jocelyn with Arnold the head of 'The Daily Coon' she got suspicious. Somehow though it felt like in the end it wasn't Leonard that was getting hurt, but the one girl that he left behind. Her. After spotting his book bag she had gotten slightly curious so she walked in that direction. Once she had gotten towards that corner though Reba wanted to bleach her eyes. She had unfortunately come across Leonard and Jocelyn basically sucking faces in the middle of a public place. Reba was smart though and decided not to draw their attention, she didn't want to let Leonard see the hurt in her eyes because she missed him. Instead she walked back the other way towards the large oak-wood doors of the library not even bothering to turn and look back.

"Hey there Reba" A familiar voice said as she walked into the library and sat down at a table with her books. Reba had a small, sad smile painted on her face as she pulled out her tablet and then curtly regarded her Romulan-Human friend. "Hey Ernie" Reba said calling him by his human given name since like most humans, that was the only name of his that she could pronounce. "What's got you so down this morning?" Ernie asked quirking a slanted looking eyebrow at her. "Not really much I guess. I'm hurting a little, but I'm just glad he's happy" Reba mumbled pulling up some of the videos that they took together last summer. "Oh lemme guess, Leonard again huh?" Ernie asked earning a sad nod from Reba. He gently patted her shoulder and watched the video with her, a memory from when her best friend still seemed to care. "I guess I'll just have to live with losing him to a force that I can't control. The worst part Ernie is that I've loved him longer than she has. I wanted to tell him, but I was a fucking coward" Reba growled as tears began to cloud her vision. "Well who knows Reba, maybe he'll realize that he's better off with you and not with her. I can't think of why those two would work anyway" Ernie suggested giving Reba a hopeful smile. "Thanks Ernie, but it still doesn't make me feel better about losing my best friend to that snake" Reba answered and then watched another video of them dancing under the moonlight on Donna's birthday at her party. "What kind of snake is she? Is she a rattlesnake or a cobra?" Ernie teased cheekily as he nudged Reba in the elbow softly and caused her to chuckle a little for the first time this morning. "She's the deadliest of them all, the infamous black mamba" Reba laughed and rolled her eyes playfully. "Wow that is a statement then. Good thing you can be a snake charmer yourself, I mean you are beautiful enough you know" Ernie said causing Reba to blush. "Did you seriously just make a sexual joke about me charming Leonard's libido away from Jocelyn?" Reba asked shyly and covered her mouth with her hand. "Maaayyybbbeee" Ernie snickered carrying out the word a little. "Oh my god that was a good one for someone who doesn't normally make jokes" Reba said slapping her hand down on Ernie's shoulder for a moment as she almost died in laughter. The conversation ended though when the bell rang and signaled them that it was time for their first class of the day. "See ya later Ern" Reba called gathering her stuff and then disappearing into the crowd of students. "Laters Arriba!" Ernie called after her and then began to grab his stuff.

You're on the phone with your girlfriend
She's upset, she's going off about something that you said
'Cause she doesn't know your story like I do

It was one of those lazy Friday nights and Leonard finally invited Reba over to his house to do what they both always did. Watch the classics from the 1980's. When Reba drove over in her favorite little punch bug, A car passed down for generations (or at least that's what her Pa claimed), she saw him sitting on the front porch with a glum look on his face. She quickly exited her car and walked up the dirt path towards the house a few feet away and then she carried a worried expression on her face. "Hey Len, you ok?" Reba asked as she came to sit down next to him on the porch. "I guess so. I think I pissed Jocelyn off a little bit though" he replied as he still looked towards the ground. "Whaddya do Leonard McCoy?" Reba asked her tone growing serious though she was trying not to laugh. "I told one of my corny, stupid jokes while she was havin' a fit over some stupid pair of jeans her daddy couldn't afford. I thought it was my job ta make her laugh when she's upset" Leonard answered heaving a heavy sigh and then finally turning a hazel eye towards Reba. "Nah she jus don't getcha humor like I do Len. She's lucky tha she's got herself a funny guy tha could attempt ta make 'er laugh" Reba answered pulling her best friend into a hug and smiling weakly at him. "I knew there was a reason I missed nights like this" Leonard chuckled and hugged her back tight.

Leonard offered his hand to Reba and helped her to her feet before leading her into the house. "So what's the special feature tonight Lenny?" Reba asked using the nickname that only she was allowed to tease him with. He rolled his eyes playfully and then walked into the kitchen where his Ma was making cookies. "Wouldn't you like ta know?" He asked sarcastically though a playful smile returned to his lips as he plopped down in front of his mamma on the bar stool. "Actually I kinda would so I know if I need ta hide in your shoulder again or not," Reba teased nudging him and plopping down on the stool next to him. "Fine, fine I didn't choose a scary one this time. I thought ya might like Pretty in Pink tonigh' especially 'cause ya remind me of Andie" Leonard admitted as he poured a bowl of unpopped corn kernels in a bowl. "Lemme guess you'd be Duckie Dale then? Remember I'll always be a Duck man" Reba chuckled reciting the famous line from Andie's best friend. "Hell yeah I wouldn't allow ta hurt my best friend and get away with it" Leonard chuckled popping the bowl into the microwave. "Oh I'm sure that ain't the only reason for him callin' ya Andie" Mama McCoy chuckled making Leonard's face turn as red as a cherry. "Thanks for that one Mrs. McCoy" Reba laughed and ruffled Leonard dark brown mess of hair. "Eh don't do that! I just combed it" Leonard whined trying to move his hair back into place. "I betcha a comb didn't even touch that random pile of fluff ya call hair Lenny, then again girls love a guy with messy hair" Reba teased grabbing them both a can of soda. "Ya think so? Oh gee thanks" Leonard replied sarcastically as he leaned against the counter and waited for the popcorn to be done popping. "Well duh, I am a girl ya know. Anyway is the popcorn almost done, 'cause I wanna see her make that awesome dress before I fall asleep again" Reba asked as she tapped her foot against the tile flooring of the kitchen. "Yep in three…two…one! Ok let's go Darlin' see ya later Ma" Leonard chuckled grabbing the bowl and heading into the living room. "See ya later Ma'am" Reba called from over her shoulder and then rushed to catch up with her best friend. "Have fun kids" Eleanora called with a small grin on her face.

I'm in the room it's a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like
And she'll never know your story like I do

A month later, it was Leonard's Birthday. Friends and family gathered on the McCoy family ranch to celebrate. "Eh Leonard ya comin' down ta see the gang or what?" Donna asked through the cracked door of her little brother's bedroom. He was finally turning 18, but Jocelyn wasn't gonna be there like everyone else and this made him a gloomy soul. "Yea, be there in a minute Donnie" Leonard called as he slipped on his favorite leather bomber he had gotten from his granddaddy as an early birthday gift. He didn't really blame Jocelyn because she was out of town at a funeral for her grandma up north, but he still didn't feel a hundred percent. He took one last look in the mirror and decided to pretend. He had known how to pretend ever since he was little, so what was one more faked smile right? He trudged out of his room and down the stairs to the large living room. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEONARD" The crowd of friends and family shouted in unison and then he felt himself actually brighten up just a smidge. He doubted that he'd be able to completely forget about Jocelyn tonight, but at least he had his best friend Reba. "Thanks everyone" He said shyly and then joined them all in the living room.

As the party began winding down Leonard's uncle Vern played a few slow dance like song for those who liked to dance (which was basically anyone because everyone knows that McCoy's like to dance). Leonard sat in the corner like a pathetic wallflower that he knew himself to be. This was why he missed his chance with Reba in the first place and it was why every time he was alone with Reba he had to question his relationship with Jocelyn. "Hey birthday boy, mind tellin' me why yer sittin' over here by yourself an not dancin' Lawd knows you like to dance and so do I" Reba asked as concern laced her voice as she took residence next to him on the couch. "Well I didn't really know if I should dance considerin' she ain't here. She wouldn't like the music anyway" Leonard answered finally showing a little bit of glumness on his face. "An you gonna let that stop ya from dancin? Really Leonard? Really? I thought I knew ya better than that. Can I have a dance with ya?" Reba asked slowly standing up and holding out her hand for him to take. "Well I think it's supposed ta be me askin' ya tha darlin', but if ya truly insist" Leonard chuckled a little and his hazel eyes showed a little bit of light in them. "Oh ya know I do boy 'cause nobody better be sad on their birthday," Reba laughed pulling him up on his feet and dragging him to the dance floor. Leonard placed his arm around Reba's waist and he entwined his fingers of his free hand with hers leading them in a slow waltz. Reba sighed and rested her head on his shoulder, her bright blue eyes shining up at him as she relaxed. Leonard smiled s genuine smile down at Reba and held her closer to him because he was afraid that something was going to take her from him. "Thanks Reba for talkin' some sense inta me," He whispered lazily and placed a small, friendly kiss on her forehead.

But she wears short skirts
I wear T-shirts
She's cheer captain
And I'm the bleachers
dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
that what you're looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see
that, I am the one
who understands you.
Been here all along
so why can't you see,
you belong with me
you belong with me

Reba despised this kind of event. The Cheer jamboree was the absolute worst, but she promised to be a good friend and be there with Leonard as they watch Jocelyn and her team get up on stage and try out for the all-state championship. For Reba it looked like something out of the movie Mean girls or bring it on both movies that shared the stereotype of the popular girls at school. On top of the setting, looking familiar to her Reba felt kinda bad for Leonard because he was here for her special event, but she didn't have the gall to make it to his birthday? Reba found out from Donna that Jocelyn had lied to her little brother and now Donnie had even begun to try to warn Leonard that maybe Jocelyn wasn't the right girl for him. Stubborn as a bull he didn't listen to either of them so of course Reba wanted to drop kick Jocelyn every time she saw the snake attaching herself to Reba's best friend. "Yoo-hoo Reba are ya in there?" Leonard's voice called bringing Reba out of her thoughts. Reba shook her head as she tried to focus again and then turned to look at her best friend. "Y-yea? Sorry Len ya know me," Reba answered giving her best friend an apologetic look. "S'ok darlin' I was jus gonna letcha know that the contest is over and we gotta go an meet Jocelyn so we can go ta lunch remember?" Leonard asked making Reba sigh and nod softly. "Did they make it at least?" Reba asked as they got up from their seats and began to walk back stage so that they could find his girlfriend. "Yea they got third place which ain't bad considerin' most of the girls on the team are freshmen," Leonard said as they walked through the curtains the separated the rest of the world with the contestants.

Suddenly Leonard was about knocked off his feet as Jocelyn came running full speed at him and hugged him tight. In about a minute's time they were kissing each other, which made Reba, feel awkward. "Uh congrats Jocelyn, glad you guys made it. Umm I'm gonna go and wait in the truck Len" Reba said shuffling her feet in an uncomfortable gesture. "Ok Reba see ya in a minute," Leonard replied with a bit of sadness in his voice before he turned back to Jocelyn again. Reba slumped her shoulders slightly and walked away from them, losing herself in the crowd and trying to get herself away from the wretches, they called Cheerleaders. She finally made it outside to Leonard's pickup truck that he got from his Daddy for his 18th birthday and then took the key he gave her and sat inside. Tears streamed down her face because she knew that once again he was changing. If someone had asked him to do this in ninth grade he would've laughed at them and then walked away, but now all he could see was the mask that all Cheerleaders wore to keep their double life hidden. Reba knew the stereotype for Cheerleaders being sluts were most or less true with Jocelyn. Reba knew that most likely if she could convince Leonard, Reba had a hunch that Jocelyn would be getting his virginity to. "You promised me forever remember" Reba whispered and curled up into a little ball on the seat.

Walk in the streets with you in your worn out jeans
I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be
laughing on a park bench thinking to myself,
"Hey isn't this easy?"

You've got a smile
That could light up this whole town
I haven't seen it in a while
Since she brought you down

Say you're fine I know you better than that
Hey Whatcha doin' with a girl like that?

Two years later…

Reba was packing her bags so she could head off to South Carolina for her dream college. A place called Furman University with a program in biology and natural sciences that she was actually excited for. At least it was something to look forward to as an escape from home. She was not part taking in the wedding nor did she look forward to it. Reba was stopped by what she was doing when her PADD went off letting her know that she was getting a call from someone. Reba took a quick glance to see it was Donna calling her. She quickly swiped at the screen to accept the call because she knew what Donna was calling about. Donna wasn't going to stop Reba, but she was calling to say goodbye. "Are ya sure ya don't wanna stay for the weddin' Reba?" Donna asked, her words beginning to echo into Reba's mind. "I'm sorry Donnie, but I can't stay. I don't wanna watch the man of my dreams bein' taken away from me 'cause I know eventually she's gonna break his heart. Tell Leonard I'm sorry, but I really needed to go" Reba answered trying not to cry in front of the woman she would always see as her sister. "Nah I understand ya Reba. I'm gonna miss ya an' I'm sure tha he will to. I hope ya have a safe trip an' I hope ya come back someday," Donna answered with a sad smile as she watched Reba continue to pack up her things. "Oh I will Donnie, ya know a Georgia child always comes back home" Reba answered with a sad smile of her own. "Thanks for everythin' Donnie" Reba added before she gave one last wave and then ended the call. The last thing she packed was a Polaroid photograph of her and Leonard, taken on the day that you both went to the Georgia State fair for the first time. A tear slipped down her cheek as she slipped it into her bag and then grabbed her other bags ready to leave this place behind for at least four years. For once Reba didn't feel like she was at home anymore.

She wears High heels
I wear sneakers
She's cheer captain
and I'm on the bleachers
dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
that what you're looking for was here the whole time

If you could see
I am the one
who understands you.
Been here all along
so why can't you see
You belong with me

Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know baby?
You belong with me
You belong with me

Four more years later…

Reba had graduated from Furman with a degree in natural sciences as well as a degree in biology. Just as she had said to Donna McCoy, she had returned home to her family ranch to spend some time with her family and get a little rest before going out in the world to look for a job. She had been at the local mall with her younger cousin Alice when she had come across a recruiting station. Starfleet. "Ya gonna go to the stars Ree-Ree?" Alice asked with innocent looking eyes. "Don't know Ally I might. If I can't find a job, 'round here then it'll be a good option," Reba answered with a soft smile. It had crossed her mind while she was in college. Sure, it might be rough going to space, but if it meant making a difference and helping the future of humanity than she couldn't refuse it. "Ma always said that stars were meant ta shine and starships were meant ta sail 'em" Alice giggled as they walked away towards the food court. "She's right 'bout that Ally. If ya ever have a dream than don't cha give up on it ya hear?" Reba said squeezing her little cousin's hand. "I promise Ree-Ree" Alice replied with a warm smile. Reba forgot the last time she had smiled like that. It had been so long since she had been around anything that could be considered happy. "C'mon then Tater-Tot let's get some lunch huh?" Reba asked her little cousin and then looked around the huge food court.

Oh, I remember you driving to my house
in the middle of the night.
I'm the one who makes you laugh
when you know you're 'bout to cry
I know all your favorite songs
and you tell me about your dreams
Think I know where you belong
Think I know it's with me

Can't you see
I am the one
Who understand you
Been here all along
So why can't you see
You belong with me

Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know baby?
You belong with me
You belong with me

"Reba dear, you've got a visitor" Reba's Ma called from the kitchen making Reba raise a brow in confusion. "Comin' Ma let 'em in" Reba called from her room down the hall and then stood up from her bed. She walked down the hallway with her PADD in hand, but the sight she was met with caused her to freeze in place. There in the threshold of the living room was none other than Leonard McCoy himself. He had dark rings beneath his eyes from loss of sleep, tear tracks stained his tanned cheeks, his dark brown hair was a complete mess and he looked a sight with clothes that looked like he had worn them for a few days. "Leonard? Leonard what are you doing here? What happened to you?" Reba questioned and then ran over to him feeling her heart drum in her ears. "Is there any where we can talk alone?" He asked. His voice hoarse from what you could assume was either crying, yelling or a mix of both. "Ya know there is. C'mon" Reba answered with an exasperated sigh as she gently took his now calloused hand in hers and led him out back to the barn.

They sat together in the hayloft just as they did when they were kids. Reba wrapped a comforting arm around Leonard's waist as he buried his head in the crook of her neck and cried. "You and Donnie were right," He said finally after his breathing had settled again. Reba was quiet, but he knew she was listening and silently urging him to continue. "Jocelyn is a cheatin' hussy. For the last four years, everythin' was fine. We had a daughter together and I was taking a residency at the hospital while getting' my trainin' ta be a doctor like the one I always wanted ta be. I came home las' night ta find her sleepin' with Clay Tredway" Leonard growled his hands slowly curling into fists. "Oh Leonard… I want ta say I'm sorry, but I know it ain't gonna fix a thing" Reba whispered hugging him tight and letting him rest his tired head on her shoulder. "The worst part is Joanna was in the house when she was doin' tha. Our poor daughter had ta see her mother cheatin' on her father. Now she'll probably get the impression tha her daddy left her and that he's a no good piece of shit" Leonard whispered closing his eyes and holding Reba close to him. "Leonard McCoy don't you dare say that 'bout yourself! You are a good person and it ain't your fault that this happened" Reba scolded and then began to run her hand through his hair to sooth him a little. "Thanks Reba. Do ya think yer folks would mind tha I stay here for the night? I haven't slept in almost forty eight hours," Leonard explained causing Reba to go pale. No wonder he looked so exhausted. "Nah I'm sure they'd be alright with it. Len ya need sleep or else you gonna get yourself sick" Reba said as worried filled her voice. McCoy just nodded a little and placed a small kiss on her forehead. "Thanks June-bug I'm sorry 'bout the past few years" He said softly and slowly sat upright again. "Don't worry 'bout them ok? Right now we jus' need ta getcha inside and get ya somethin' ta eat an some sleep" Reba answered and then with her help the two climbed down the hayloft and trudged back inside the house.

Later that night as Reba lied awake in bed she thought about all the things that had happened. Leonard was back in her life and he needed her more than ever, but did she really want to wait around when she could be useful in the stars? Then again, as she thought about it maybe Leonard would join her. She figured that Leonard was determined to get a divorce from Jocelyn. Sadly, she knew that most of the ramifications would be in her favor and not his. Reba knew that Jocelyn was a snake and she knew that Jocelyn wasn't done with Leonard yet. Reba got up and walked out in the hallway; she stood in the doorway to the living room and watched as Leonard slept. He was peaceful, a contrast from the side of him that she had witnessed earlier, even so she worried about him. What else could she do? There wasn't anything else that she knew she could do except be a good friend. She ignored her broken again, because she knew it was her turn to heal his broken heart somehow. She didn't know how, but she hoped that one day she would find away. "I love you Leonard McCoy" She whispered and then quietly walked back to her own room.

Extended Ending

Reba sat in her seat in the shuttle waiting for Leonard, wherever he had gotten off to. A girl in a scarlet uniform sat down across from her, her face studying her PADD. "Hello I'm Cadet Nyota Uhura," She finally said with a small smile on her lips. "I'm Cadet Reba Richards. Nice to meet you," Reba replied with a smile of her own. Suddenly they were joined by a young man with sandy blonde hair and a flirty smirk on his face and a swagger in his step "At ease gentlemen" He said to the two burly looking cadets sitting near Uhura. Nyota gave him a small knowing smirk causing Reba to be slightly intrigued. "Ya know I never did that first name of yours. Oh who's your friend?" The man asked looking at Reba and causing Uhura to playfully roll her eyes. "And you probably never will Jim Kirk. This is Reba and I think she wouldn't be fooled by you either" Nyota smirked