A fan fiction story by Melpomene based on the characters and backstory of "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" and composed without permission. No copyright infringement is intended and no monies have been earned.
The sea breezes tangled her hair and tossed it in wild disarray, the pale silken strands obscuring her face as she sat on the sandy beach with her knees bent and her arms wrapped tightly around her legs. She sat so still that she almost seemed a statue long ago lost from one of the many pirate ships that once sailed the Caribbean. Gulls called out their morning greetings overhead although no telltale pastel sunrise could penetrate the heavy black clouds that curtained the sky. The distant rumble of thunder promised a rain drenched morning but still she did not move, not even when the first icy drops pelted her skin and raised chills along the bare skin on her arms and legs.
She did not want to leave the solitude of the shore, did not want to face the questions that her return home would raise. Where were you last night, Ice? What happened? Why didn’t you come home? She could hear their voices in her tumultuous thoughts already, milling among the words of another that she knew had been said in grief and a frantic plea for solitude but would not be silenced regardless. You’re a Marine captain, a grown woman, think for yourself.
A part of her wanted to go home and answer their questions and be held and comforted and promised that everything would be okay again. That same part of her even wanted to walk up the beach to Kate’s Bucket and ask her friend how she had managed to push aside the hurt and distrust and just keep going from day to day. But another part, a much louder one, knew that any admission would only serve to weaken her in the eyes of the Corps and further distance her form her male counterparts in the squadron. It might not be an intentional thing, but she would have lost all she had gained by insisting she was just like every other Marine nonetheless.
Rules and regulations danced among the all too loud voices in her head, as well as the touted advice and well-meaning propaganda. She had once spouted that same advice, not fully aware of how difficult a thing it was to admit you had trusted the wrong person or been unable to read the situation because your mind was far too preoccupied on your muddled love life or you had a little too much to drink before venturing out for a moonlit stroll along the shore. It was harder yet to admit that all the afore mentioned things were the reality of her previous evening’s encounter. But when you added to it all the fact that she was trained in military combat and, under ordinary circumstances, could take down any one of the men in her unit, it made the idea of confessions all the more painful.
He had been a stranger, a civilian to the best of her knowledge, and she had been tipsy and preoccupied and had foolishly accepted his proposal to accompany her along the beach. She had already walked a good half mile when she had come across the man in the shadows of a group of pilings and together they had covered even more ground, separating her further from Kate’s Bucket and the house she shared with Spoon and Capone.
She had left herself open to the attack and the assault to her pride ached almost as much as the physical harm he had done to her. She needed to get to Doc but she was less than certain she could make it to the flight surgeon’s office on her own. She knew the walk back to the Bucket where she had left her car would be hard enough between her spinning vision and aching body. The mere thought of making the trip back down the beach soured her stomach and she fought the ensuing nausea. Her stomach had long ago emptied itself and dry heaves would only hurt even more than vomiting had.
Considering the early hour and the inclement weather, she knew she had a window of several hours to return for her car before anyone noticed the Mustang was still parked there. Besides, when it rained, Kate never opened until afternoon and rarely arrived before two or so, enjoying the luxury of a morning spent in peaceful quiet at home.
She could wait a little longer.
Icy droplets poured from the heavens with no indication of stopping and the Bucket’s parking area swam beneath a good two inches of water when Kate pulled into the lot. A stack of paperwork and preparations for a “welcome to the states” party for Mad Dog’s parents necessitated that she break with her rainy day tradition and actually drag herself into the bar even earlier than her normal arrival time.
Parking near the front door, she looked out the rain-slicked window at Ice’s pale blue Mustang. It was still in the same place it had been when she had left the previous evening. Perhaps Ice’s nighttime stroll had led her home, Kate mused as she made a mad dash for the bar’s front door. No doubt the woman would return for her beloved car before too much longer.
As she grabbed the stack of bills and receipts that required her attention and moved to a seat at the bar, Kate’s thoughts lingered on Ice. She owed the flier a long overdue apology for the words she had spoken the last time Ice had approached her for advice. Ice had just been an available and all too persistent target for her anger. Maybe when the captain arrived that afternoon, Kate could get her a drink and pull her aside for while to apologize and talk about the concerns she had about her love life.
She had finally completed the neglected receipts when a movement caught her eye and drew her gaze to the parking lot. Someone was approaching Ice’s Mustang at an unsteady gait and Kate wondered who could be foolish enough to venture out in such miserable weather. Crossing to the door, she was startled to recognize the figure that leaned heavily against the car.
“Ice? Honey, come on in out of the rain.”
a work in progress