*I've shaken your faith in me. No, you've shaken my faith in everything else. A decision no one made, and now your home. Faith is a hard thing to hold on to. *Throwdown, by Stevie Nicks**** Bits and Pieces By Lt. Sara Crusher The twin moons that orbit Betazed where nothing more then pale shadows as the holographic sun rose in the morning sky. The ocean waves responded to the moons’ pull as they slipped onto the sandy beach with less aggression. The salty ocean air was cold and it caused goose bumps on the exposed skin that Sara’s white spaghetti strapped tank top failed to cover. Her heart pounded in rhythm with her strides as she ran along the beach with her small yorkshire terrier trying hard to keep up with her. She had lost track of how long she’d been running, but when she started the program the sun was just peaking over the ocean’ s horizon and the ship’s clocks all said 0500 hours. Now the sun was nearly at it’s peek and the ship’s clocks no where in sight. All Sara knew was that for the moment; all she wanted was to run. From the first step she took it had become more then her normal morning run, it had become an escape, a chance to be alone and think. No Kathryn, no Rhi, no Cyanah, no nobody; just her and her thoughts and the cauldron of mixed up emotions that bubbled beneath her mood and short tempter. Rhi’s words kept echoing in her head as she ran. "Why are you mad, Sara? Why are you mad at me? Why aren't you mad at the people who ordered me to keep my mouth shut?" She was mad at her mother. She felt lied to, violated, and betrayed. What had given her mother the right to just rip them not only from her mind, but her heart as well? "Why aren't you mad at Cyanah?" There again, she was mad at Cyanah but in there lied the same problem as to the last question, Rhi had asked her. "WHY are you mad at ME?!" The strange thing was she didn’t know why she was so mad at them. It’s not like Rhi had set out to sleep with Cyanah just to hurt her, hell she didn’t even know about her and Cyanah being together, and it’s not like she didn’t know that they were attracted to each other, add to that the fact that Rhi’s hands really were tied as far as telling her about their past. So why was she mad at Rhi? Why was she made at Cyanah? Or was it even anger? Was she really that mad at them or was it the fact that it seemed as if one of her biggest fears was being played out in front of her. "I don't know where I stand with you, Rhi!" She had screamed. "Hell I don't know where I stand with anyone anymore!" The conversation, if all the yelling they did could be called a conversation, she had had with Rhi in her ready room continued playing and replaying in her head as she stretched out the muscles in her legs which were starting to cramp. Where did she fit in now that Rhi and Cyanah and her were entwined in this odd web of relationships? Sara fell onto the soft sand. She leaned back on her arms as she dug her hands into the warm white sand and looked out over the water. The damp sand stuck to the seat of her black jogging pants as the waves teasingly came closer and closer to her matching running shoes. The sun was high in the sky now and Sara couldn’t help but smile as she watched Tramp sunning himself a few feet away from her. Sara loved this program. It was a perfect recreation of an island beach that she simply loved back on her mother’s homeworld. It was also the same place she had told Cyanah about being Imzadi. Which is what they still were. Nothing had changed that and nothing would. Rhi and Cyanah had spent their time together and maybe it wasn‘t over yet, but it was still her bed that Cyanah came home to every night, even though she hadn’t been making it a very welcoming place lately. Was she being a hypocrite? After all it was her very own culture who embraced the idea of having more then one lover and there had been a time, for about 0.5 seconds, that she had played with the idea of having Cyanah and Josh, so what changed? She had fallen in love and found her Imzadi, that’s what. It was true what her Grandmother had said, "A young woman will have many loves and lovers who she will share her body and perhaps even a part of her heart with, but she will only have one with whom she will share her mind, soul, and essence with, and no lover despite their intentions will never come close to the bonds, both emotional and physical, that she will share with her Imzadi." Sara’s body seemed to melt into the sand as she closed her eyes. The warm sun beat down over her flesh and melted away the goose bumps from before. As she relaxed for the first time in over two weeks, Sara allowed her mind to fully open. She took down shields and opened pathways that she had been keeping under the safety of a telepathic fog. She replayed conversations that she had only half heard or completely forgotten about. "This is all so new to me," Sara said softly. "And I'm scared." "There's nothing to be scared of Sara. You told me how you feel about me, and you must realize that I reacted positively. The hard part is over, Sara." Cyanah gave Sara’s hand a reassuring squeeze. "Being here with you, Cyanah, is the most real thing I've ever felt. There's no confusion and no pretending involved." "Sara... I should tell you this now, so you're not surprised by it later. Captain Morrigan, she and I have... something. I'm not sure what, though. But I thought you should know." She looked at Cy. She had to ask. "What does that mean for us?" "I can't answer that, since I don't even know what she and I have, Sara. But... we'll take things as they come. If I have to open my mind to loving both of you, then I can do that. My feelings for you won't grow any weaker, though. I promise, no matter what happens. Is that alright with you?" She wanted Cyanah in her life as more then her friend and if sharing her was how to do that then she would. "I understand, Cyanah... And I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here as long as you want me to be." That had been the start of it all. That had been their first weekend together and Sara found it hard to believe that it had been almost a year since that first night. A year of quiet a lot. "Sara... why would you think you’d lose me? I love you." Cyanah sat next to Sara on the bed and wrapped her arm around Sara’s waist, pulling her close. The answer had of course been Rhi. "I’m attracted to both of you, even though I’m far closer to you, Imzadi." Some of the conversations seemed to have a repeat theme. Which of course where Sara’s insecurities. "I guess I’d just rather not be doing it alone is all." "Why would you have to do it alone? I’m perfectly willing to go along with you, if you want me to come." Cyanah could sense that something else was amiss, as Sara’s apprehension hadn’t faded once they’d started talking. "Oh I do want you to come! It’s just that…" Sara looked into her tea cup as if she’d find the words floating in the warm liquid. "She wants you to stay with her." Rhi again... "Well... I didn’t see that coming. Hmm." Cyanah leaned back into the cushions of Sara’s couch and took a long sip of her tea. "I can understand why you were feeling apprehensive, at least." "You do?" "Mmmhmm. You’re afraid of losing me to Morrigan, and afraid of facing your past in Ireland without me." Sara just nodded. "Sara..." Cyanah began, putting her teacup down on the coffee table, "after all of these months together that we’ve had, our Imzadi bond, the good times, and the tough times, do you think I would throw that all away for something unknown?" "No," she said softly as she turned her head. Sara stared at the ceiling and chewed on her bottom lip. "I guess I’m just worried that maybe the unknown isn’ t so bad. I mean, look at us, I jumped into the unknown and found something wonderful; what if you do the same thing with Morri?" "Even if I did, there would be no way I’d throw away what you and I have. That would be like throwing away a beautiful work of art." A year of ups and downs, of pleasures and pains, and to Sara to be at where she was now, despite everything that was going on, she wouldn’t have changed any of it. It all came do to the simple questions and the only answer to all of them. "How are things with you and Cyanah, dearie?" Kathryn had asked. Her reply was a weak, "I’m not sure anymore." "Why not? You love her, yes?" "I do, very much so." Even Rhi herself saw what Sara was some how missing. "Take a few hours off. Go spend time with Cyanah. You need her, Sara." "I know I do." "Then go to her." She had tried but her head was still a mess and she ended up at Kathryn’s and then later the gym. She hadn’t come back to her quarters until well after 0100 and by then Cyanah had fallen asleep waiting for her. Then she got up early and had snuck out before Cyanah could wake up. Sara opened her eyes and looked out over the crashing waves as a single tear rolled down her cheek. Sara had felt her long before she heard the holodeck doors open. She has sensed her waking up and she had felt the disappointment she had over waking up alone again in their bed. Sara felt her presence coming closer and becoming stronger as she made her way from her quarters to the holodeck. She felt Cyanah enter her mind before she entered the holodeck. Her thoughts and emotions had touched her before Cyanah had kneeled behind her and before she felt Cyanah’s arms wrap around her from behind. Neither woman said a word for a long time. They just sat there in the sand, Sara between Cyanah’s legs and Cyanah’s arms wrapped tightly around her as she rested her chin on Sara‘s shoulder, as the waves crashed around them. Finally it was Cyanah who broke the stillness of the moment. Her voice soft yet strong, "Sara.... Love, we need to talk." Sara nodded and held tighter to Cyanah’s embrace, "Yes we do."