The entire crew of the Enterprise listens to the voice of the ship’s computer at length every single day and at no point does Kirk or Spock or McCoy or ANYBODY turn to Christine Chapel and say, “Is that…you?”
If any of you have ever spent any (conscious) time in the OR at all, you know exactly what I mean.
You can walk past a suite and know who’s operating without even looking at the board.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, sit tight. I’ll explain, then we’re gonna play a game.
Like, seriously, indulge me, this is gonna be fun.
Surgeons like to operate to music. It’s kind of a thing.
I’ve heard some crazy stuff in the OR, guys. Every genre you can possibly imagine. There’s standard, top 40 radio hits. Classic rock. R&B. Soul. ScreamingbangingpulsingmakeyourearsbleedJimKirknoise (seems like the ortho guys really like this one). Country. Jazz. Even (I’m not kidding) swanky elevator music.
My ears are ringing when I make it home. When I finally crash in my bed at night, it’s not the cadence of the pulse ox, or the myriad of monitors that I hear. It’s the music.
Today, I had my personal playlist on shuffle, as always. 4:30 am, headed to the hospital in a sleep-addled daze, chugging my coffee, angry at the injustice of the world.
And then, suddenly, clarity. A brand new Bones headcannon is born.
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Call Me the Breeze.
Bones, hotshot big-city trauma surgeon, fresh out of residency. Bones, eyes burning, fierce, sharper than a laser scalpel, gonna change the world. Bones, at the top of his game. Bones before David’s illness, before feverish research and quiet desperation, before pitying glances and subtly shaking hands, before stims and alcohol and insomnia, before endless custody battles and bitter failure and “I’m just a simple country doctor.” Bones, when sleepless nights were a welcome challenge and the morning offered a fresh perspective. Bones, the youngest published surgeon in a generation. Bones, dominating his operating suite through sheer force of will. Bones, fed up with people commenting on his age. Bones, saving lives. Bones, making damn sure that his tech knows what playlist is on rotation, and that Call Me the Breeze is on there, somewhere.
Later, after, it doesn’t matter so much. On the Enterprise, Len’s not doing many elective procedures. Surgeries come in fits and starts, in 22 hour shifts of blood and adrenaline and grit, shifts that leave Len hazy around the edges and utterly drained. Life in the black is weeks upon weeks of mind-numbing monotony, and then everything goes to hell. Most days, the playlist is the last thing on his mind.
Besides, his tastes have matured. Really.
It’s Chris that notices first. Chris, striding into sickbay, predicting exactly what kind of day it’s gonna be by the time she makes it to her station. She’s been doing this a while - she doesn’t need to see the set of the Doc’s shoulders, or hear the cadence of his words. She knows. Nurse’s intuition.
In the beginning, her choices are random. She’s been working in the field long enough that the noise fades to the background, personal preferences be damned. It doesn’t take her long to figure it out.
Doctor McCoy, god bless him, hasn’t a clue.
One day, one awfully long day, when the supply shuttle is overdue and the captain has missed his follow-up physical for the third day straight and the doctor has been particularly bitchy, Chris rolls her eyes and calls him Mr. Breeze.
Len blinks at her, startled, then covers it with a dark scowl. “What was that, nurse?”
Anyone else would be terrified, but Chris works with this fool every damn day. She knows his tells, and she’s not afraid of Leonard McCoy. “Nothing, Doctor.”
He holds her gaze for a second, all bristled brows and blustering testosterone, but she is unrelenting, expressionless. He gives, whirling, and stalks to his office, muttering under his breath.
Bones is not an adventurous man when it comes to food. He likes his meat and potatoes. He doesn’t do spicy, and he definitely doesn’t do ingredients he can’t pronounce.
Christine Chapel prefers to wear a floral scent. It’s something vaguely like dusty rose with a vanilla bottom note that mellows the whole bouquet. Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory and because there’s always that perfume underlying the antiseptic in the air in the med bay, her patients relax intrinsically upon picking up on the scent, knowing Christine is nearby with her gentle, reassuring bedside manner.