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Ensign Colleen Bancroft - Alone

Jo Marshall

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((Temtibi Resort Beach, Risa))

Bancroft: Hey boss, can I get a beer please?

Millis: Got a nice ale. ::He turned back to the bar for a moment before returning and handing over a bottle.::

Nkai: Make that two!

Bancroft: Thanks.

::She took the beer that was set on the counter.::

Bancroft: Hey, I'll see you all later. Jayla, thanks for the race.

Soyinka: Sure thing! Enjoy your evening!

Millis: Welcome to the Gorkon.

Nkai: Come back soon!

Marshall: Look me up tomorrow!

::She raised her drink to them all, took a sip, and set off in search of a quiet spot by the water. After a moment, she changed course and made a quick detour back to her hotel room to grab her personal PADD before heading back outside to resume her search of a quiet spot by the water.::

::It was an absolutely beautiful evening. Colors shot across the sky above her in an amazing display of reds, pinks, purples, blues. A basically perfect evening. Close to the water, a bonfire was being lit, to which Colleen smiled - she'd always loved fire. She wandered quietly towards the water, towards a spot that was away from the majority of the people. After a few minutes of quiet wandering, occasionally sipping from the ale in her hand - it was decent, Millis was good at this - she was close to the water, and began walking a parallel path to the shore, towards a cloister of trees in the near distance.::

oO When was the last time I was on a beach? Two? Three years? Not since her. Oo

::Despite the relaxing nature of the drinking, it was also wearing on her depressive side.::

oO Go figure. Oo 

::The thought shot wryly through her head. She snorted softly. Eventually, her wandering led her to the stand of trees, and she sat down at the one closest to the water, leaning back against it. She slipped off her shoes, setting them aside, and dug her toes into the sand for a moment before removing them, stretching her legs, and letting the water lap at her feet.::

oO A good tree. Blocks most of the noise from the crowd, gives a little privacy while not entirely blocking everything out. A very good tree indeed. Oo

::Colleen took a sip of the ale again before digging the bottle into the sand beside her, where she wouldn't knock it over easily. The water was soothing in its sloshing, and reminded her of camping trips with her parents, when she had been a lot younger. And, of more recent camping trips.::

oO Ah, Grace. Where'd it go wrong? Oo

((Flashback - Campground, California Coast, Earth - c. Early 2390))

::Colleen grinned as Grace Freeman flopped into the sand beside her before coming back up sputtering.::

Freeman: Crap! Sand. Mouth. Bad combination.

Bancroft: You dork. How did you not see that one coming?

::Grace lightly punched Colleen's arm, managing to land it right over the birthmark - again. She always managed to.::

Freeman: You know you love me.

Bancroft: Well duh. ::She paused.:: You're still a dork.

::Grace rolled her eyes.::

Freeman: So you decided to take on a minor, on top of your dual major? I never figured you'd be that much of an overachiever.

Bancroft: In my defense, it's only like... three or four extra classes. And I'm still going to have room left to spare in my schedule.

Freeman: Colleen, you're turning into a workaholic.

::Colleen snorted and lightly punched Grace's arm in return.::

Bancroft: But not too much to push you out of my life. ::She leaned over and kissed Grace's cheek.:: I love you.

Freeman: ::A moment's hesitation.:: I love you too, Col.

((End Flashback))

::Colleen surfaced from the memory to feel a couple tears rolling down her cheeks. Silently cursing, she wiped the tears away.::

oO I'm strong. Grace is old news. Get yourself together, girl. Oo

::With another small snort and an eye roll, Colleen took a large swig from the ale. Half the bottle was gone now.::

oO Have to slow down or I'll be going right back to that bar to get another, too soon. Oo

::The memory had been from January or February, middle of the first semester that year. She and Grace had taken one of the few long weekends during the Academy to go camping. Despite it being plenty warm out, there hadn't been that many people at the campground that time of year, a fact for which she remembered being thankful for. The whole trip had been like a break from reality, a time when the other worries, the future plans, the problems, had simply... not existed.::

::It hadn't been eight months after that trip when Grace had broken up with her. Colleen still wasn't sure why the other woman had left, but it still hurt.::

::With active determination, Colleen put her PADD into her lap and pulled up her messages. A couple random blast messages from Starfleet, a message from one of her old classmates from CAP-A, and a message from Ensign Hannah Ramsey. Smiling at the last one, she pulled it up, read it through, read it through again, then pulled up the reply function.::
Ensign Colleen Bancroft
Security and Tactical Officer
USS Gorkon
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