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Lt JG Ross -The Leaving Season

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Ross' player shared this beautiful SIM with me and I just couldn't not put this in appreciations.


((Boston, MA, Earth))

The city had changed its colours. Even though Evan hadn't been there to witness it, he knew from experience. Boston common, a park much older than he dared to think about, had exchanged its enchanting autumn dress of grays and browns for fresh, enlightening green. The rain got less harrowing around this time of the year. When he stepped outside the transporter, the air greeted him with a rich, aromatic wetness, typical after a short shower, but the clouds had already disappeared and made way for spring sunshine, causing every piece of metal within the city to shimmer and shine. 

The streets were busy as always. He still recognized them, those street corners, the bigger lanes setting off towards the mystic river, small shops and businesses settled deeply into the rows of houses and skyscrapers. It was a city which had preserved its walkability even with the turbolifts popping up - and despite the fact that they would have brought him to his destination much faster, Ross opted for the long walk through the bustling city center that would eventually lead him into the more quiet streets, the suburban life he missed so much and despised at the same time.

It felt nice to breathe some fresh air, to feel the sunlight on his skin - and there was something reassuring about walking the old streets, stopping at the same old corner shop where he had spent hours as a braggy and noisy teenager. The shopkeeper was gone, surely retired by now, but Ross immediately recognised his son, who had been in the same year as him during in middle school. There was something haunting about seeing those features again that had been so much more youthful the last time they had seen each other - like a call from the past, a punch in the guts from his own mirror. Ross grabbed a can of soda and went to the counter.

Toby: How are you, Sir. That's 2.50.

Ross: Hi. Thanks - ::he paid with change, just for nostalgic reasons:: Nice weather today.

Toby: Yeah. Didn't stop raining for days now, you're very lucky. Are you on holiday? First time in the city?

He hesitated. Evan's faint smile did not vanish as he tilted his head slightly - oO We used to write notes to the same girl during lessons, don't you remember? Oo

Ross: It's been a while.

Toby: Oh, then you should totally check out the Athenæum. They restored its front, and there's a really nice fair going on today. Lots of people in the city.

Ross: ::nodding:: Yeah, I might. Thanks, pal.

He knew he wouldn't. His destination was at the other side of town, in an uncanny house at the end of a quiet street. He wasn't sure yet if its door would open for him.

Toby: Sorry - do we know each other by any chance?

His smile grew a little more distanced. There it was, the prospect of a reunion - the dreading questions. Where have you been, how are you doing? Starfleet? Are you kidding? For the first time in his life, he would be able to tell something he could be proud of - and maybe for that exact same reason he didn't want to.

Ross: No, I don't think so. Enjoy your day, man.

He raised his hand and left Toby behind, the soft ring of the bells above the door feeding softly into his lie. The pensive gaze followed him a good few steps down the street, and he kept it close, like a second skin protecting him from curious questions and misplaced nostalgia.

((Short Timeskip))
((Christina Stirling's House, Suburban Boston, MA, Earth))

Evan didn't remember for how long he had stood on the opposite side of the street, eyeing the small house in front of him, before he finally moved and crossed the street. She lived only two blocks from the house they had both grown up in - and yet, the neighborhood seemed much more quiet, much more established than the memory of his childhood which always seemed to take place in the city center, where things were so much rougher and rainy.

The doorbell rang softly and sent shivers down his spine. Stirling, it said in plain letters - Christina had kept the family name he had never truly grown accustomed to. It's your choice, his mother had said, If you want to stay with 'Ross' that's fine with us. He couldn't really explain what it was about that name that he so desperately clung onto for all those years now - just another stamp of not truly belonging that he had forced onto himself for no real reason. His hair darker, his build more lean in younger years, a born runner - and younger, always so much younger than her.

Christina had been 16 when her parents had opted for adoption. When Evan remembered his sister, he remembered the version from his childhood - and to his own shock it was a copy of that woman in her late 20s who now opened the door. Robyn didn't look exactly like her mother, but she carried her features - fierce eyes, broad shoulders and a few freckles spreading delicately over her nose. A toddler was sitting on her arm, cooing happily as their eyes met. Ross opened his mouth only to close it again. There she was, his niece, with a child he didn't know, and her confused expression said more than a thousand words. Whatever they had shared, ten years ago, it was gone - because he hadn't been there.

Robyn: Oh... - Are you the guy for the roof?

He couldn't bring himself to answer, and so he just nodded thoughtlessly - his heartbeat was rushing.

Robyn: Sorry, I thought you were coming tomorrow! ::turning around, calling into the flat:: Mo-om! The guy's here, for the gutters!

Ross subconsciously held his breath as he heard steps approaching. 
And then there she was. Christina, with her bright eyes and the blonde hair he had always envied, making her so much more akin to their parents - their eyes met, and she gaped at him in shock.

Christina: ...Evan?

He could only give a small, embarrassed nod. And then she was all over the place, approached him with fast steps, pulling him into a hug he had dreaded and missed, exactly like this little life in Boston. The same tears were verging their eyes as she detached from him, ruffling his hair in disbelief -

Christina: I almost didn't recognize you... look at you, your hair...

All gray. All grown up. She didn't say it out loud, but as they both smiled at each other, she knew she didn't have to.

Robyn: Wait, did you say Evan? As in... uncle Evan?

His voice was sounding incredibly raspy when he finally answered.

Ross: Hi there... thought it was time.

End of Scene (for now :) )

Lieutenant JG Evan Ross
Intelligence Officer
StarBase 118 Ops

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