Dear Joanna

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Dear Joanna
Author(s): Bonita Kale
Date(s): 1988
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:
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Dear Joanna is a Kirk/Spock story by Bonita Kale.

It was published in the print zine KSX #2.


"In a nursing home, McCoy writes his daughter to tell her the true story of Kirk and Spockʼs deaths 10 years before."

Reactions and Reviews

I've always thought that, despite the age difference, McCoy would end up outliving Kirk and Spock. This piece portrays that very well with a poignant sadness I found hard to shake. [1]
As is obvious by the title, this story takes the form of a letter from McCoy to his daughter. Every time I reread it, I'm again bowled over by the emotional intensity packed into its mere four pages. The story relates events after Kirk's death on a "routine" planet survey, and Spock's decision to follow him. All of this is told from McCoy's point of view ten years later. The closest he comes to understanding what the two men shared is after the ST II meld with Spock. He speaks of Spock inside his head watching as Kirk smiles. "And there was this terrible reaching feeling. Sometimes I'd have to look down at my hands to be sure they weren't stretched out to him." So few words, so much beautiful imagery. Ms. Kale expertly catches McCoy's "voice," a very difficult task. Many writers, myself included, take McCoy a caricature of himself, because we just don't "hear* McCoy as clearly as Kirk and Spock. It is evident this author does. It's all here... McCoy's humor, compassion, humanity and love Especially good are the insights he has about his two friends from his unique perspective as closest confidant yet outsider to their intensely passionate relationship. The only false note I detected was in the doctor's attempt to keep Spock alive by offering himself sexually, as I've never found Spock/McCoy stories, or K/S/M menage stories very believable. (It's always seemed to me that the love Kirk and Spock feel for each other would preclude the addition of a third party.) But even here I could suspend my disbelief in favor of Ms. Kale's premise, simply because it's so very well done. She certainly made me accept that he would try anything to save Spock's life. Yes, it's a death story, but when a story reaches you as much at the twentieth reading as it does at the first it's worth telling others. I won't spoil it for anyone else by telling more, but the last two paragraphs are worth reading the whole story for. As far as I know, Ms. Kale has not written any other K/S fiction, if someone knows of any I've missed I'd love to hear about it. [2]
Death. Seldom does it seem real in K/S. If Kirk dies, I know I can turn the page and there will be the brash young Captain, strutting his stuff. Legends don't die.

Maybe ifs because this is told in narrative form -- McCoy putting the facts down for his daughter while there's still time. When he writes of Kirk's simple accident, a fall, he says matter-of-factly, as though the reader already knows, "They brought his body aboard. I had to look at it, of course, but there was no hope. Brains don't uncrush, no matter how much we want them to."

God, doesn't that seem real? Not dramatic, just cold fact.

And when Spock awakens from the collapse caused by his bondmate's fall, looks into McCoy's eyes and states, "Jim is dead." Not the Captain. Not a plea to make it right. Just cold fact. Awful.

But the letter continues, describing Spock's gentle and graceful decline and the friend who stays by his side until the Vulcan joins the other half of his soul.

Solemn. Thoughtful. Brilliant. Memorable. The final two paragraphs are some of the most insightful words I've ever read. [3]
McCoy writes to his daughter. Image for image, word for word, this story packs a punch in its mere four pages that is not to be believed. It is a death story, so be warned, but it is also haunting and incredibly moving. I return to it again and again. [4]


  1. from The LOC Connection #10
  2. from The LOC Connection #53
  3. from The K/S Press #49
  4. from The K/S Press #87