Shelby. Set post- "Dark Allies" and the destruction of the Excalibur.
It's winter in San Francisco, and the ocean is cold. Standing on the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters, looking down from the balcony outside the conference room, she can feel the wind on her face, the chilly air blowing off the water toward the land.
The sun is beginning to come out. She squints toward the ocean, not that there's anything to see, what with the fog still covering the water, and she marvels at how long it's been since she set foot on Earth. Probably not since she left to serve with Mac on the Excalibur. She can't remember exactly, after so long in space, planets have begun to blur together-- even her home planet.
She grips the balcony railing-- it's cold under her hands and almost hurts to touch-- and wishes Mac was here. He liked San Francisco. He liked the Academy. She's been doing a lot of walking lately. She's been walking around the city, visiting her old dorms and classrooms, just wandering. She's been wishing he was here, too, to see the city again.
An ensign leans out the door to the conference room, looking apologetic. "Sorry to disturb you-- but the debriefings are beginning again. I think you'll want to come inside soon."
She nods. "Thank you, ensign. I'll be right there."
She turns to leave, to head inside, but not before another look back at the ocean, at the fog that is creeping slowly off the water. It's been too long, she thinks.