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Ensign Ross - Another Goodbye

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Just love this sim from @Evan Ross. Something so realistic and relatable about it.


(( Starbase 118 - The Dungeon - Mundok's Bar )) 

It was great to hear that Russell's family was doing well. Ross didn't find it easy to imagine his stoic Captain in retirement - but Cross would probably find a way to keep busy. Ross wouldn't mind to switch places actually - he adored how driven Russell was in approaching his career, but there was a reason he had never gotten higher than First Officer in one or two shipments. Also there was no family awaiting his pension - he was still on his own. 

Cross: Nothing wrong with that. You will figure it out in time right? Time is still very much on your side. 

Ross: ::chuckling:: You tell me. 

Everybody seemed to talk about his love life today - the topic had come up with Rustyy just an hour ago. Did he radiate acute loneliness or something? Ross took a sip from his ale, but Cross had no intention of changing the subject. 

Cross: What about Commander McLaren? Is she single? She seems right up your reality with the Intel prowess. Perhaps she could teach you a thing or two.
That made him choke on his drink. For a moment Ross simply stared at Russell in disbelief -   

Ross: She's my boss, pal. 
Not to mention that he was still deadly afraid of her, and definitely not playing in her league. It took him another second to realise that Russell was only messing with him. When he heard him chuckle, Ross rolled his eyes and sunk back in his chair.

Cross: You do you my man. I’m just saying, there are plenty of options out there for you buddy. 

Ross: You had me there for a second. ::lightly punching Russell's shoulder:: Should have told me back in the day you see no problem in dating a superior. I would have taken you out for a drink earlier. 
Now it was him who was joking - and something in their banter felt so painfully familiar that Ross actually started missing their shared adventures for a moment. Most of their trips had been uneventful deliveries, a lot of waiting and checking boxes - but in between those routines, they had shared a sense of companionship which had left a hole somewhere deep inside him ever since he had left the Centurion behind. There had been a common ground. A sense of belonging. Us against the world, come fleet come engine failure. 
Cross: ? 
Ross: I just want you to know - serving under your command, it meant a lot to me. All this, it's... ::hesitating, gesturing vaguely:: It's still strange to me. Doesn't sit quite right. 
It felt like a dream sometimes - a little too shiny to actually believe it. His smile faded. 
Cross: ? 
Ross: I know, I know. It's what I wanted. And it's great. But if you ever get bored with retirement... ::he winked:: Give me a call, promise? 
Cross: ? 
They clinked glasses on that. Ross smiled and took a deep breath - the Centurion's arrival had put a lot of things into question this morning and he still wasn't sure if he had answers for them. If anything, Russell's call from the past had reminded him where he was from. A world much less shiny, grim for many parts - a world in which he had envied shiny Starfleet Utopia and despised it at the same time. He still had to find his path through this gleaming new reality - and he still had to figure out how to stop feeling like a stain. 
But those were problems for another day. When he ordered another drink for them, he knew Cross would erase any doubts for the next few hours. Tomorrow was a new day - and their friendship stood renewed another time. 
End of Scene for Ross 
Ensign Evan Ross
Intelligence Officer
StarBase 118 Ops
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Thanks so much for the shoutout ❤️ I wasn't really sure how to approach verbalizing his second thoughts, so this means a lot ☺️ 

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