"Between Friends" By Lt. Joe Castillo and Lt. Sara Crusher Under her chair, her desk, the couch in her office. In desk drawers, medical supply cabinets, and recycler bins. Sara had looked everywhere for the padd she had written her letter on. Why she’d brought it with her she had no idea, she should have left it in her quarters. The last thing she needed was for someone to find it and read it. There was no way she’d be able to explain away it’ s contents. There was no way to hide the personal emotions and comments. Comments to someone no one was suppose to know she had a personal connect to. This would be so much easier if Rhi were just where she was suppose to be. Sara could be telling her about her and Cyanah’s marriage in person, like she had wanted to. But the longer Rhi was away the higher the chance she’d hear it from someone else, and that Sara wouldn’t be able to stand. Joe had just finished his therapy session with the Counselor and was examining the contents of the vial he’d given him. Joe was no expert but he had a feeling that what was afflicting him could not be cured by medicine. He was musing on this when he noticed Sara. He thought back on the day’s events and realized he probably was a bit overbearing and overprotective of her. Joe cared for Sara, and thought she deserved an explanation because he didn't want his nightmares to ruin his friendship with her, because he was genuinely worried for her safety even if he took it too far. Therefore, in a split second as soon as he saw her he started walking towards her. "Stupid padd. I swear I’d lose my head if it weren’t attacked to my shoulders. As if this stupid night could get any worse." Sara muttered as she crawled out from under a bio bed and straight into a pair of legs. She looked up and saw Joe standing there smiling down at her and she gave him a sheepish grin in return. "Sorry." She said with a chuckle as she stood up. "Hey Red, inspecting the biobed? I thought engineers or crewman did that." Sara laughed as she tugged on the long sleeved maroon t-shirt she had on. "They do, I was looking for something I misplaced." Sara scanned the area again and then headed back to her office, motioning for Joe to follow. "I see" Joe said as he followed her, then he asked "What'd ya lose?" For the third time since coming back to sick bay Sara started to go though the massive piles of padds on her desk. "A personal padd. I was writing a letter to someone about the wedding and can’t find it." Sara walked over to the couch and started shifting though the padds that were thrown around on it. Joe smiled, "Oh yes the wedding. I actually talked to Cy today while we were on the bridge for a little bit. I asked her about it, and I think she was relieved. For some reason someone left my new assistant in charge of the bridge and he was sort of trying to hit on her" Sara rolled her eyes as she looked up from her padds. There was a slight snarl on her lips and a hint of venom in her voice. "So I heard." She spat. Then under her breath added, "Little twit was to blind to notice her engagement ring." Sara put the padds aside and leaned back against the couch after offering a seat to Joe. Joe laughed "Oh boy, I wouldn't want to be him right a bout now. He might have just been to thick to notice the ring or what it meant, cause when I asked Cy about the wedding plans he let up. You guys arrived shortly after. So how are the plans coming along" "There coming." Sara said as she tucked one jean clad leg underneath herself. "It’s not so much the details that are putting a damper on things. It’s not even my over baring pushy grandmother, though she’s a HUGE part of the hold up.. It’s just that we‘re waiting on someone." Sara looked through the last of the padds in her lap and then placed them all on her desk with a sigh. "Oh I see, must be someone pretty special if you're putting off the wedding just for them." Sara nodded as she sat back. "She is. She’s the closest thing I have to a sister and I couldn't imagine not having her there. No matter what we’ve been though." "Sounds like a pretty important gal I'd love to meet her, when is she gonna be joining us?" A light pink flush colored Sara’s cheeks as she shifted her position on the couch. How’d she mange to talk herself into this one? She sighed a little and got up and headed over to the replicator, where she ordered two ice teas. She needed to back out of this, but how with out sending up huge red flags. "She is.. and she’s.. well unavailable and we’re not sure when she’ll be bac.. able to come." She handed Joe one of the glasses and then sat on the couch next to him. "So, enough about me. What brings you to my neck of this ship?" Joe sighed, he had put it off long enough and now he had to get to it, although he would try to prolong the inevitable as long as he could. "Actually I had an appointment with the counselor, and since I was already here I thought I'd swing by and say hello" Joe's cheeks turned red at the moment, he had never been a good liar. "Joe," Sara said softly as she looked down at the jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers she had on. "it’s after hours. That would have worked better four hours ago, unless you had planned on coming to look for me?" Sara couldn’t shake the feeling that Joe had been wanting to tell her something and of course she’d spent the last half an hour babbling on about something she couldn’t openly talk about. "My mom always told me I shouldn't try lying to pretty girls. It's about today I wanted to apologize about how I acted" Sara took a deep breath as she sat up straighter. She didn’t want to let Joe know that the way she was treated on the surface bothered her. "Oh?" "Yeah, in retrospect I realize I was being way too overprotective. I care a lot about you Sara you're one of my closest friends. If something happened to you I could never forgive myself. And, well " Joe trailed off and didn't finish his sentence. "I felt like a child down there, Joe, and that’s an image I’ve worked very hard to shed around here." Sara sighed as she looked over at her friend. There was something in his voice, in his eyes that told her there was more. She reached out and squeezed Joe’s hand as she looked at him. "What’s wrong?" "I've been having nightmares, Sara. A lot of them. They don't let me slept at night. That's why I'm seeing Jansug. Last night I dreamt that Romulans had you tied up and because I couldn't beat them in a duel they cut your throat. That image was still very fresh in my mind all day today and I know it's no excuse for how I treated you but I just wanted you to know that's why I acted the way I did down there today." Sara nodded as she got a far away look in her eyes. "I understand, Joe, really I do. Dreams are very meaningful things." "I'm relieved you do, I didn't want my acting like a jerk today to get in the way of our friendship, you mean a lot to me. I just wish I knew what my dreams were trying to tell me." The look in Joe’s eyes looked familiar to Sara. It was the same haunted look she had seen in her own eyes when she was dreaming about her past with Rhi. "I think the not understanding them is even worse then the dreams themselves." "I know what you mean it's tearing me apart the not knowing, and its affecting my work. I mean the way I acted today for one but the fact that I'm not getting sleep could slow down my reaction time." Joe handed Sara the vial Jansug had given him. "The counselor gave me these to help me fall back asleep when I do get them, but it's not going to stop them. I want to get past this and go on with my life." Sara turned to look at Joe, squeezing his large hand for reassurance. She wasn ’t going to tell him that the vile was only a placebo, but made a mental note to send him some herbal tea that would help with the sleeping, just in case. "Your right, Joe, nothing Jansug, nor I can give you will get rid of the dreams. The only way to make them stop is to find out what’s causing them. It’s not an easy thing to do, facing whatever that might be, but it has to be something important enough that something inside you needs you to know it. Trust me, I know from experience" "So I should stop seeing Jansug then? He's not really helping much yet, but talking about the nightmares, although a bit painful does help a little, just like talking to you always brightens my day" Joe flashed his million dollar smile at Sara. "Joseph Castillo! I did not mean for you to stop seeing, Jansug." Sara said with a warm lighthearted smile. "It may not seem like he’s helping yet but give it time. It took me months to realize my dreams were really memories. I don‘t think I would have made it though that without people to talk to. I had Cyanah, and Nana Kathryn, and finally when I knew what the dreams were, I had Rhi." "Who are Nana Kathryn and Rhi, you don't mean Cap.."Joe trailed off as realization came to him. Sara's eyes went wide and her hand flew up to cover her mouth. She never did know when to stop talking. "That's who you're waiting for isn't it?" The cat, or rather the barbeque was out of the bag. Sara nodded. "When I was a little girl the Captain and I were close. She was a student at the academy under my mother’s guidance, and my mother hired her to sit for my brother and I. We grew close over the years and she even took me to Ireland with her for the summers." Sara looked down at her hands as her whole demeanor changed. "We were like sisters, until I." Sara’s voice cracked and got very soft. "She almost died saving me from a plasma fire I started when I took her racer out during an electrical storm." Joe wished he hadn't said anything, he should have quit while he was ahead, but now he had saddened Sara which was almost as bad as his nightmares. "Look, Sara I'm sorry I brought it up, it's getting kinda late maybe I should go." "Its alright, Joe," Sara said as she looked up at him. "but see, I didn’t remember any of that until I started having dreams about the accident. My dreams were my repressed memories coming back. You’ll figure yours out too, I know you will." Sara stood up and hugged Joe once he was on his feet. Then she looked him right in the eyes. "You can’t tell anyone about me and Rhi, Joe. The only other person on this ship who knows about our past together, is Cy. Ok?" Joe returned the hug warmly, thinking he had hurt Sara, and how that had saddened him, which made him realize how much he cared for her. He loved her like a sister, and that's why he had reacted the way that he had on the away mission. He looked down at her with a grin, "And risk being beat up by a redhead and BBQed too, you gotta be kidding. Mums the word." Sara laughed and then hugged Joe again. "And don’t worry about what happen down there, ok? We’re cool." Sara stepped back and leaned up to kiss Joe’s cheek. When she stepped away from him she felt something under her heel. She picked it up and laughed. "My padd!" "See I am good for something, have a good night sweety, don't keep Cy waiting to long and tell her I said hi." Joe left the office then with a smile on his face, but he couldn't help thinking that something towards the end there had something to do with his nightmares, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.