((Starbase 118, Ensign Maxwell’s Apartment – Thirty-one hours after the Columbia’s return.))
::His face and neck were itching like mad were Dr Ezo had removed the scarring that belonged to the now discarded persona of Logan Lang. The rest of his body was also sore and aching, but that wasn’t the worst part of how he felt. There was a deep ache in his chest, which some would call a broken heart.
No, that wasn’t it. They’d split up for the final time when he was a year into the Academy. She’d breezed back into his – and Milly’s – life like she’d never been away. Maxwell had honestly thought his mother was going to throw her back out of the door. Without opening it first.
They’d been back together about three months when she decided to flit off again, and that was the point Maxwell decided enough was enough. For good.
Not for him, but for Milly. It wouldn’t be any good for her as she grew up to have some random woman popping in and out of her life on a whim. She hadn’t been near the house – or Maxwell – ever since anyway.
He was confused about how he felt. On the one hand, he was utterly crushed. Because somebody he’d been friends with since he was nine, and later in love and had a daughter with had died. Despite their constant on-off relationship, his own feelings had never really changed. And then even when she’d dumped Milly on him and swanned off, he still felt strongly about her.
On the other hand, the way she’d destroyed her own life and shown no interest in Milly except when it suited, the way she had insulted his parents amongst other things, he didn’t care that she’d taken a [...]tail of various “highs” and had succumbed to their negative effects.
He loved her. He hated her. He missed her. He was glad – in a way – she was gone as it would be less painful for Milly as she grew up. He didn’t really know if he actually knew what he felt.
And then that thought hit him. Milly was four. Even though Maxwell and his sister didn’t get along in the slightest – couldn’t stand each other in fact – Milly absolutely adored her. She would eventually begin to wonder why she had her Grandmamma and her Auntie Rosetta, but no Mamma of her own.::
oO How the hell do I explain something like this without breaking her heart when she’s older? Do I explain it at all….? Oo
::He hadn’t even realised he was still playing, as the door chime broke him from his swirling thoughts. He removed the bow from the strings slowly, turning his head to face the door::
Maxwell: A-Aye, who is it? ::Did his voice just crack?::
oO Get a grip man! Oo
Erin: Hey Max! It’s only me! ::She sounded chirpy as ever::
Maxwell: Enter ::His voice allowing the door to hiss open::
::And in she bounced. Even though they’d only known each other as long as they’d been on the station, they’d hit it off the moment they’d met in the lobby. She was without doubt, his best friend. But being fair, he only knew any other people on the station via working at present. At that wasn’t the same.
She was still in uniform, and based on the time, had probably finished her shift and come here instead of next door. Knowing that he was back and wanting a chinwag.
He replaced the cello on it’s stand, along with the bow, before standing. He walked over and gave her a big hug, before arching a questioning eyebrow at her::
Erin: Why thank you, Max. I would love a drink. ::She smirked at him::
Maxwell: Get yourself sat doon, I’ll get it.
::He went over to the little fridge in the kitchen area, ripping open the small case of Turners. He removed two of the six bottles and cracked off the lids. Closing the fridge again, he wandered back as Erin flopped onto one of the sofas. She grinned as he handed her one of the bottles. He sat in one of the chairs facing her, careful to not sit in his usual knees-apart posture. They chatted for a little while about what they’d both been up to. Eventually, she sat upright, putting the empty bottle on the coffee table::
Erin: Max, what’s the matter? I can tell something is bothering you.
::And so he told her everything. Maxwell wasn’t one for showing a lot of emotions, so the dozen or so tears he shed highlighted to Erin just how bad he was feeling. She stood, walked over and – kneeling beside him – gave him a hug. He returned it, holding on tight as he swallowed everything back. He gently broke the hug off, smiling at her and returning to his padded stool. He picked up the bow and cello, offering her a smile as he began to play one of his favourite pieces.::
Erin: So what are you going to do? About your daughter that is?
Maxwell: I’ve two bedrooms. I only need one. So I’m going to speak to the ex-oh about getting Milly out here with me. ::He paused, suddenly feeling a little selfish:: If she wants to that is….
::Erin offered a smile that said ‘Why wouldn’t she?’ but remained silent, instead sitting back with her eyes closed, listening to the music.::
Maxwell: Anyway! You’ve got plans tonight lassie! Best go get ready for your date wi’ the wee green man…
::She opened one eye, before sitting upright. She fiddled with the think plait that lay across her shoulder before standing up and smoothing down the skirt of her blue-trimmed uniform.::
Erin: ::Laughing:: He’s a Marine, Max. And his name is Carl. ::She poked her tongue out at him::
Maxwell: Marine, sure. A wee green man. ::He said with a wink, and he began to play a romantic piece of music.::
::She huffed at him, although it was playful, and flounced theatrically to the door::
Erin: Jealousy gets you nowhere, Mr Maxwell! ::She said with a laugh as the door opened.::
Maxwell: He’d best treat you like an Empress! ::He called after her as she disappeared from view::
::He continued to play, the tune faltering a few moments after the door had closed itself. He began to play a classical nineteenth century piece he’d learnt at the Academy, but after only a couple of bars he stopped again. He closed his eyes briefly before beginning to play a slow, melancholy piece instead.::
Maxwell: Forge on, lad. Forge on.
::Once again his beloved cello found itself back on the stand, and if an inanimate object could look fed up, this cello certainly did as it listed ever so slightly to the side. He went and washed his face, before returning to his desk::
Maxwell: Computer, record and send this message.
Maxwell: Counsellor, I would like to request an appointment with you sometime this week if possible. I could use your…guidance. Ensign Maxwell::He tapped a button on the keypad to end the recording.:: Send to Ensign Reyes.
Computer: Message delivered.
::He had the rest of the evening to kill, and he had a great idea about how to spend it. Despite not being on duty, he had still pinned his issue comm-badge to his t-shirt. He grabbed his wallet, stuffing it into the sporran on his kilt, and made for the door. He tapped his badge as the door opened::
Maxwell: =/\= Maxwell to Antraydin. Beer O’Clock big man? =/\=
Ensign Arturo Maxwell.
Starbase 118 Operations.