<Day 98 – 0900 – Academy Docking Station>
Cole lugged his huge sack of clothing and personal belongings down the length of the platform to the waiting maglev monorail waiting for new cadets with their deployment assignments. The train would take them to the ships and shuttlecraft that would be taking them the rest of the way to their new homes abroad, on other planets or moons, research facilities, starbases, or starships.
Cole looked back as he dropped the heavy bag on the platform to take a breath and saw Brev walking slowly down the platform with his head down. This plastered a pained smile on his face and he left the bag to try and cheer up Brev.
He trotted over to where Brev was and wrapped his arm across his shoulders and lightly shook kissing his forehead. “What’s wrong handsome? Why so glum? You should be happy. You’re finally getting rid of the ole ball and chain.”
Brev scowled at Cole, “That’s not funny and you know it’s not. I don’t understand why you have to go. You could come to Vulcan with me. I’m sure it could be arranged. There are enough pilots for all the vehicles out there in space. They don’t need another.”
“Well m’dear, I have to go because that’s what the brass said I had to do. Besides, there’s a lot of turn over for pilots thanks to retirements and burn out.” Cole sighed and started walking, dragging Brev along. “I know it’s hard for you but it’s the right thing for both of us. We’ve talked about this long and hard and agreed that we should do exactly as we planned on doing when we joined Starfleet.”
Brev harrumphed, “I know but that doesn’t make this any easier for me and this seems way too easy for you. Why are you taking this so casually?”
“Because I know that it has to be done. Do I want to leave the Academy, leave my friends and family, the love of my life? Hell no! But I have to because that’s the way that it is. This is Starfleet and we’re not married. They don’t recognize our relationship legal binding and therefore can separate us.”
“Well that’s just stupid. I don’t like this at all. What am I going to do without you keeping me grounded?” Brev paused for a moment and then looked up at Cole with a wide eyed look and a crazy smile on his face. “Let’s elope! We can do it before you go then they can’t separate us!”
Cole let out a hearty laugh and ruffled Brev’s hair. “You and I both know that our parents would kill us for doing that and we’d be stuck with mess or head duty for the rest of our lives on the worst possible post in all of the universe.” Cole laughed and gave Brev a kiss on the cheek. “I love you Brev but you know that we can’t do that.”
Brev grumbled with his head down and dug the tip of his shoe into the ground like a child that had just been chided. “I know but that doesn’t make this any easier.” Brev looked up when he heard the whooshing sound and saw the doors of the train standing wide open to accept the love of his life and take him away from him, possibly forever.
Cole turned around and saw the gaping hole that doors gave to the side of the train and he heaved a long sigh. He thought this was going to be easier to do than it actually was. He’d reasoned with himself that this was the right thing to do for both of them but that didn’t make it feel any more right.
Cole turned back to Brev and saw him sniffle slightly. “Not the waterworks,” he muttered to himself quietly. He was praying that Brev would be able to handle this without making it a Casablanca moment but he should’ve known better. He knew that more often then he like to admit it; Brev wore his feelings on his sleeve.
He pressed his forehead against Brev’s and held him there for a long time breathing in the scent of him. He was going to miss that, among so many other things. He kissed Brev deeply, passionately, fervently. He didn’t know if he’d ever see the first person he’d ever truly loved again and wanted to make this moment last forever.
“I love you Brev Bernard.” Cole said with misty eyes.
Brev sniffed again, “I love you Cole Porter, you big dumb jock. I hate you for doing this to me but I love you in spite of it. What I wouldn’t give to kiss you again and then clock you in the kisser.”
Cole laughed again, “You always had a way with words.”
“I’d do it because it’d make me feel better but I can tell that you’re in as much pain as I am. You’re just better at not showing it to the whole world.” Brev said leveling his eyes with Cole’s.
“Time to go son.” The conductor said on the edge of the platform with a soft but firm voice.
Brev and Cole looked over at the conductor and Cole nodded. He turned back to Brev and used his thumb to wipe away a tear rolling down Brev’s cheek.
“You are the love of my life.” Cole said as he walked toward the door of the train and finally broke away his hand that Brev was holding onto so tightly.
“I love you too.” Brev said as the doors to the train slid shut and the train started moving down the length of the platform.
Brev watched as the train disappeared in the horizon and then walked over to a bench on the platform and crumpled in tears. Moments later he felt a hand slowly rubbing a soothing circle on his back. He looked up and saw an older woman in a Starfleet uniform.
“Let it all out dear. Just let it all out.” She said with a sad smile on her face.
Brev leaned into the woman beside him and sobbed uncontrollably.
Lieutenant Brev Bernard