Disclaimer is in Part 1
The court room came to attention as the Judge came from his quarters, taking his seat he groaned at having to sit in the hard wooden chair. The Trial had been just as bad for the 4 Marines, the outcome could mean their careers and jail time for some. The two Male Marines stood together with their lawyer who was a chauvinistic prick and let it be known that the two Marines he was fighting for did no harm to the Officer Candidate. The Judge had to have Ronnie escorted from the court room numerous times and fined her for contempt of court because of her outbursts. She now stood with her mother and her attorney waiting for the rulings. After handing down the findings of guilty of attempted rape, aggravated assault and the jail sentences for the male Marines the judge cleared the courtroom of everyone and turned to Ronnie.
"GySgt Flaherty, I was shocked to say the least when I looked at your SRB, and surprised that you have never lost a stripe before this time for you actions against other personnel of this base, you have quit a history with violence but this time I can see what provoked such vicious attack and I don't blame you one bit. But I can not let it go lightly this time, I'm gonna do something I have never done before I gonna give you a choice." The Judge searched through some papers on his desk, looking down at her he removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Now you have a choice of losing 2 stripes, busting you down to Sgt. along with 6 months of pay or what I would do myself." He paused and looked to her mother. "Retire." Ronnie groaned at the thought of retirement or being a junior Sgt. Two sets of silvery blue eyes looked back at him. "You can make your decision and let the clerk know, but make a wise choice about it." He disappeared from the room leaving a defeated looking Ronnie and her mother standing in silence.
"Ma what am I gonna do, the Corps is all I know?"
"Do you really want to walk around this dam base as a Sgt. after spending all these years as a GySgt, and have to take orders from people with less time in grade than you have in the head?"
Tears were forming in Ronnie's blue eyes and it wasn't the thought of being a Sgt.
"No but what else do I have?"
"Go for your other dream and leave these asshole male Marines behind you. What you did you should have gotten a God dam medal not busted in rank or retired! The Corps has not changed for us like the rest of the world has, you were doing your job and all these assholes can think of is to keep it a secret from the outside world and away from the Pentagon! If you were a man they would have named the barracks after you and given you an award and medal, but you made them look bad, so take them for all you can get and go on with your life."
Danny and Jack were in their office when Ronnie came in out of uniform with an empty box in her hands.
"I guess this is it?"
All three of them had tears in their eyes as they hugged. "I'm going to miss you guys!"
"What are you gonna do?" Danny asked her.
"They owe me 240 days of leave so I'm gonna sell it back and then travel for a while until I can think of what to do with the rest of my life."
Jacked wiped the tears from her cheeks, her hazel eyes looked in to the blue eyes of her long time friend. "What about Brennan, does she know?"
Ronnie dropped down in to the office chair and covered her face with her hands. "I haven't told her anything, I don't want to ruin graduation for her, and I'm not officially discharged until Friday so I can still change my mind if I want to."
Ronnie stayed away from the barracks after that it was to painful, she had packed up everything she had on base and moved it to her house and just waited until Friday when her heart would be broken in to thousands of pieces along with Brennan's.
Bre was a loss and Ronnie had been very distant from her for days now with graduation in 8 hours and counting her nerves were gone. The bleachers were full that covered one side of the parade deck, the company came from two different directions, cadence could be heard but one company seem sluggish in its marching and that included its to drill instructors. Poni was calling cadence like she was marching straight into hell. Brennan had tears trickling down her cheeks she felt hurt that her lover wouldn't be there to see her graduate, the Platoon had just come around the first corner of the student administration's building when they heard the low rumble their SDI's a voice take over cadence. Brennan turned her head to see her lover in full dress blues, her red and gold gunnery Sgt. stripes and hash marks showing brilliantly in the noon sun and her gold emblems sparkled like her silvery blue eyes. Ronnie and Brennan exchange smiles.
The company stood at attention on the parade at the last word from their company commander screams pierced the air as covers were thrown into the sky, parent's hugged their daughters as well as boyfriends and friends it was the day they had all worked so hard to reach. Brendan searched the crowd for Ronnie she found her off to the side with Danny and Jack. She threw caution to the wind and ran and launched herself into her lovers arms, their friends surrounded them to block the exchange from view.
"Guys hit the office!" Whispered Danny.
Brennan took off first with Ronnie following a few minutes later. The office was in dark when Ronnie walked in she felt her lovers presence, closing the door she pulled her from the chair she sat in, hugging her close she murmured into her ear.
"I Love you and I will never forget you."
Brennan and moved pulled back and with pain filled eyes.
"What do you mean, where you going?"
Ronnie kissed her trembling lips. "They retired me as of today." Choking sobs over took Brennan.
"They can't, I need you don't leave me please!"
" I have to, I wish it could stay but I can't."
"NO!" Sobbing in to Ronnie's chest she pleaded with her lover. "I'll give up my commission we'll go somewhere and start over, please don't leave me!"
"You'll be ok, Jack, Danny and Lisa will be here you go on with your dream. You'll make one hell of a lawyer." She kissed her one last time to show how much she loved her and placed in her hand her gold emblems and solid gold Gunnery Sgt. Chevron's. "I will always love you!" Then she was gone, Danny and Jack found her sobbing in their Office. "Take me to her house, I have to see her."
"She won't be there, she was all packed and was leaving after graduation."
They help her out of the office and took for the Lisa's house where they all sat around depressed.
Ronnie got out her Harley and found a Officers sword and belt strapped to her handlebars, unsheathing the sword she caressed her lovers and initials on the top of the blade, tears spilled from her eyes as she spoke.
" I will always love you Brennan."
Time passed slowly for Brennan after graduation, with their normal leave before they would go to TBS, some of the women went home while others took a much-needed vacation away from base. Brennan either sat in her room in the officers' quarters or she spent time with Lisa and Laurie, on occasion Jack and Danny came over to relay that they had no news of Ronnie and that no one had heard from her, not even her mother. After weeks of not even a postcard Brennan gave up and vowed to herself that she would never love anyone again, her heart ached and she wanted to stay that way to remind her it was her fault Ronnie had to give a up her career and if she had done what she was trained to do and not let herself get separated then none of this would have happened. It was a nightmare she lived with every day for so long that it became her constant companion. She lost a lot of weight and never seemed to sleep, Lisa continued to worry about her friend.
Brennan come on let's go to the chow hall, you need to eat and you look like shit, if Ronnie could see you right now she would kill me and read you the riot act!"
Brennan's eyes narrowed at her friend, if looks could kill Laura would be weeping over her grave by now! "Don't tell me what Ronnie would do, she couldn't even stick around after graduation! No she had run off and forget about all of us, so don't mention her name to me again!"
She got up off rack and slammed out of the hatch. Lisa was at a loss as to what to do, she wished she knew where Ronnie was at so she could pound some sense into her head.
Stupid jarhead I hope where ever you are your three times as miserable as Brennan!" Lisa then left the barracks to make a visit to her Aunt to find out if maybe she had heard from Ronnie.
Brennan sat in her car in Ronnie's driveway, the grass had become knee high with neglect, she just stared at the dark windows and remembered the love she shared behind those walls. She broke down and sobbed until she fell in to a fitful slumber and dreamed of a dark shape watching her from the shadows but she could never get close enough to see who it was. The lightest of the dark shadows moved soundlessly through the trees watching the young woman sitting in the car crying.
Poor thing so much pain for one so young." The words were whispered on the night air as the unkept person went back into the shadows to disappear. Ronnie sat on her bike right outside colonial Beach her long hair whipped in the wind as she stood and looked out on the Chesapeake Bay, her World War Two overcoat wrapped around her legs letting the cold air bite in to her legs through her faded Levi's, tears coursed down cheeks as her heart ached for little blonde she knew she had hurt and would never receive forgiveness for leaving but she knew if she had stayed Brennan would never have gone on with her career, she would have risked it all for an old gunny and Ronnie couldn't let her do that. Ronnie felt lucky that she had been given a choice and retirement agreed with her. If she had been busted to a sergeant it would have kept her and Brennan in danger of getting a dishonorable discharge for fraternization or worse. The risk was the same for Brennan but the job Ronnie had now no one cared either way. At first the guys hit on her until they found out she was a retired drill instructor. Then they just backed off. Her partner laughed every time she came in the office because the men spun around in their chairs and went back to work. Big John her partner was around 5 ft five and 140 lbs and even though being one of the senior guys at work he had no choice when he was told he would be training her, that got him harassed at work, but he and Ronnie hit it off at the get go. their sense of humor was the same, warped, demented and full of double meanings and often times it had everyone wondering what the were up to.
Danny had spent the weekend with Lisa and Laurie, the 4 of them were trying to figure out what to do about Brennan.
I just don't know Jack I have no idea where Ronnie's at and we've got a week before when graduate, I don't know what Brennan's plans are as far as stations go, she is number-one in class so she will have her choice of duty stations, hell she could go to headquarters Marine Corp's and work with the legal up there."
Lisa gave them a small smile. " I'll be on Main side and working with legal and the MP's and all other goofballs." Laurie wrapped her arms around her wife's neck.
Go on tell them, stop being so modest."
Danny gave her a narrowed look. "You're holding out on us!"
Well actually I'm No. 2 in the class and main side begged me to come work there, they asked Brennan to."
Danny got a big old Grin on her face. "Ya know Lisa you're my favorite best buddy in the whole green machine, I've got these speeding tickets you see."
Lisa smacked her a good one and finished her sentence for her friend. "And I'm gonna pay every single one of them , yes in dede just like everyone else, yep sure am!"
0ohh Lisa your no fun!"
the four of them talked into the wee hours while Brennan drove are around in her beat up little car. She had been doing that a lot of driving lately and visiting the places her and Ronnie used to go to. It just seemed so unreal that she was alone.
Ronnie walked into her and Big John's little cubicle, she had no sooner sat down when her boss poked his head in and told her to find John and meet in his office and 15 minutes. After finding him in his other hang out the vestibule with all the candy machines, shaking the hell out of one of them because it wouldn't give him his m&m's, Ronnie tipped the machine with one hand and slammed it into the wall, half the candy bars in the machine fell into the tray, John's eyes twinkled up at her.
I just love a butch woman!" As the to two of them walk through the main office John tossed candy to the guys and put the rest of his desk drawer. They spent an hour in with their boss and were not happy when they came out. "Oh oohh Moldy and Scuzzy don't look too happy." One of the other guys yelled.
Why should we be, we have to find out what your true species is jocko." Big John said as he walked past the pear shaped man. "What do you think a fruit or a veggie Ron?"
I'd say invertebrate. I seen something like him crawling on the beach, I think they call them see slugs!"
It was the day of Brandon and Lisa's graduation they stood in their formation until the last word was given it was deja vu the only thing missing was Ronnie. Tears clouded Brennan eyes as she walked off the parade deck to head back to room to pack she had decided to take Lisa up on her offer to stay with her Laurie until she found some place to live since she did not want to live in the BOQ's. She and Lisa had the weekend off and then they started work on Main side on Monday for the base prosecutor's office.
0 K Ron we seen it, now let's go my little woman has been the BBQ ribs waiting on me."
Like you need them? Your getting to the point were your dress shirt looks like it's going to spit buttons out at me!"
He looked down at this thickly muscled chest of flat stomach. "You should talk to your if your tits hang down any lower you'll be able to put them in your pockets to keep them warm!" They grinned at each other and jumped in to John dark blueTaurus. Brennan was bored even though the house was full of celebrating Jarheads, she just didn't feel part of it. She was only one without a date or spouse so she decided to go to mainside to check-in early to her commanding officer. She almost hit the floor when she walked into the office and Ronnie's mother sat behind the desk.
Captain? aahh I am in the right office aren't I?" She looked at the placard on the door "Yep your in the right place, surprised to see me?" She asked.
"Well, yeah, but I thought you were Ronnie's CO."
I was but I decided to come back to my primary MOS. You know, I'm a Yale schooled of lawyer, I figured you and Lisa would need some help with these men, so I just happened to fall into my old job and you can call me Major now she grinned.
Brennan congratulated her on her new job promotion to wanted so badly to ask about Ronnie but didn't.
I have a case for you already for Monday, so I'll give it to you then."
Well, I'm kinda bored can I have it now, I can work over the weekend on it, maybe do some research if needed."
Brennan left with a box full of file folders on her new case, she hadn't even asked what it was about. she was sitting on her bedroom floor buried in papers when Lisa came in.
What in the hell is that?"
My new case for Monday."
you already went into the office?"
I got bored you never guess who or boss is?"
Go-ahead ruin my day and who is it?"
Your kidding! Ooh this is going to be fun!" She laughed." My Aunt gets to boss me around for the rest of my life! The amazons are going to love this! So what's your case about?" She asked as she took the only open spot on the bed not covered by papers.
Serial rapist/murderer, so far there are no suspects, these are just copies of the investigations. The newest one is an officer's daughter found on the railroad tracks two weeks ago and autopsies say it's death by strangulation. This one's a big one, I don't know why mom gave it to me? I don't know where to start?"
Don't look of me, I'm as lost as you are!"
Well I do know that FBI is involved as of Monday, of course there would be since some Officers daughter is dead and the hell with the rest of us." Lisa put her hand on Brennan's shoulder.
I think you just answered your own question about why mom gave the case to you." Brennan sat their an realized Lisa was right. Now was her chance to show who should be punished for crimes against women and how long they go way for. She was still pissed about the sentencing of the men who attacked her. She wished she could have been the one to mutilate the bastards instead of Poni and Ronnie. She remembered Poni arguing with Ronnie about taking the blame for what she did and Ronnie telling her it was better in her eyes to let one career be ruined than two and to leave it alone and go on. Ronnie had given up everything for two people and never ask for anything in return. But it didn't matter because it had been a year and no one had heard from her.
Brennan was sitting in the majors office discussing her new case and waiting for the FBI agents to get there, neither one of them had been given any names of who the agency was sending all they had been told was that they would be there to 1300 to meet with everyone involved. John walked down the hallway with Ronnie behind him mumbling something about his suit looking like something out of the little boys section at Walmart-Mart. He came before an open door and turned to her.
At least my clothes don't come from Mafia R-US, you and your hit man look."
She wore and Italian cut black suit with pale blue shirt and dark blue tie with a black horizontal stripe and her Corafram shoes. Ronnie tipped her raybans down and smiled at big John.
He knocked on the door and walked in to see the back of an office chair and the back of a Marine.
Hello I'm Agent John O'Reilly of the FBI."
The chair spun around as the Major stood she towered over Big John.
Jeez is their height requirement for the Marines or what?" Ronnie turned from looking at the brass placard an office door to pale silvery blue eyes.
Hi Ma long time no see."
Ronnie I should beat the shit out of you!" Her mother said with a deep growl. Blue eyes smiled at her.
You tried that for years but you never could catch me." Big John was at a loss, his mouth hung open as his head turned from the Major to his partner like he was watching a tennis match. "
Close it John I've seen your toothless mouth before." Walking around her mom's desk she approached the Marine who still had not turned around, she placed her hand on the small shoulder and spoke with her deep silky voice.
Brennan turned, her green eyes filled with tears as she looked up into the face of the only woman She ever love, all the pain and anger broke free at that moment. Rage took over, she slapped Ronnie in the face hard enough to split her bottom lip.
You fucking bitch!"
The Major ushered Big John from her office and closed the door. "Lets get some coffee and let those to have at it for lets say the next 24 hours." John shocked at his partners first for who her mother was then for letting a little blonde hit her.
"Ahh Major what did I just see in their?"
"Ooohh that, just my kid getting her ass kicked! And she deserves it to she's been MIA for over a year now."
John laughed as it went down the hall. "That's funny she's been at the FBI academy for...SHIT over year now!" He looked at the Major "Do you think Blondie in there will leave me a anything to kick around when she's done? I can't believe she was right here and never told you!" Who's the blond anyway?"
"You'll have to ask Ron about that, I don't discuss my kids personal life."
Oohh never mind, I know who she is Ron talks of a lot after some Jose Cuervo, he grinned up at the Major. My wife hates the silent types and J.C. will loosen anybody's tongue."
Ronnie just stood there looking at Brennan with guilt filled eyes tearing up. "Why did you leave me? I loved you and you just disappeared off the face of the earth! Did I mean so little to you that not even a phone call or card would be thought of?" Her face bright red with anger she threw clenched hands around beating the air with each word. "I HATE you Ronnie, I hate you with all my heart!" Ronnie tried to pull Brennan in to her arms, the small fists beat on her chest with each word of hate, after a few minutes Brennan collapsed in to her arms sobbing but still telling Ron she hated her, along with the cheap kidney punch to go with it. Ronnie just about fell over when she seen the two most precious women in her life in the same room it was the sight of Brennan that all most killed her. To see her lover after being gone so long refusing to even face her, but she didn't blame her one bit after what she had done. She knew she had hurt her but did not know to what degree. Tears streamed down her face when the floodgates opened then racking sobs over took her stoic demeanor. Brennan had worked her hands up under Ronnie's suit jacket to find hard warm flesh under her dress shirt, she tried to pull herself so close as to try to merge their bodies into one.
I love you Brennan!" Ronnie placed a soft kiss on her neck. "I've missed you so much, I'm sorry please forgive me!"
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