"Fireside Chat" by Lieutenant Sara Crusher and Lieutenant JG Cyanah Kaelyre The fire's light painted muted oranges and reds with quick strokes over the canvas of their naked bodies as they lay entwined by the fireplace. They held each other in the sweet relaxation that can only come after lovemaking; a wonderful physical exhaustion coupled with a mental contentment that was enhanced by the connection between a Betazoid and her Imzadi. Cyanah traced a finger down the line of her lover's cheek. "So, Doctor, would you say that I'm physically fit to return to duty?" The knots that had bound every muscle in her body were no longer there. The aches for sleep, for peace of mind, for Cyanah, were gone now. They had all melted away at the first simple touch of the evening. Sara snuggled closer to her love and smiled at her. "I would have to say you were more then physically fit." She continued to play with Cyanah's long red hair as she spoke. "It almost seemed unreal." "I know. Just being here still seems unreal." Cyanah indicated their surroundings with a lazy wave of her arm. The fire continued its artwork and filled the holodeck program of Sara's Aunt's condo in Aspen, Colorado with its distinctively colored light as the candles spread about the room tried to add their meager contributions. Outside on the patio, the hot tub burbled and steamed welcomingly. "It's a far cry from that Cardassian prison... and while I was there, this all seemed so far away. I felt so alone without your presence in my mind... it's amazing how I depend on it now, when not long ago, I was struggling to get used to it." Sara held Cyanah tighter as she tried to make everything alright for her, for both of them. "I tried. I tried really hard to simply brush my mind to yours while you were down there." She sighed softly. "But all I managed to do was to give myself a headache and get all frustrated." She watched the fire burn for a few seconds and couldn't help but smile at the stupid act of punching out a console. Then she closed her eyes and allowed her thoughts drift to Cyanah. I missed you. Cyanah smiled at Sara's voice in her head, so calm and quiet after the passions their minds had shared during their lovemaking. I missed you too, Sara. She accentuated the sentiment with a lingering kiss, taking Sara's face in her hands. But I'm back where I belong now... I never wanted to leave in the first place. There had been a brief moment during the transport delay that was used to kidnap the Captain where Sara feared she'd never be able to look into those remarkable green eyes again. Sara caressed the side of Cyanah's face. "I know you didn't." Sara placed her hand over Cyanah's arm where the wound had been. "Are you ok?" She knew that her arm was fine, but she hadn't had time to talk to Cyanah about what had happened. She wasn't even sure if she wanted to. "They wouldn't tell me what was doing on down there. When they had said someone, a woman had been shot." Her voice trailed off and she hugged Cyanah closer again. Snuggling into Sara's embrace, Cyanah rested her cheek against Sara's chest. "I wish that I could have contacted you, but it was so hectic... and then I got shot and was on the ground... I've never felt such intense pain." A few tears escaped Cyanah's eyes and made their way over the curves of Sara's breasts, finally coming to rest on the thick rug they lay on. "Those Cardassian weapons hurt so badly... I can't imagine creating such a thing... a phaser stun only gives a headache later and incapacitates quite effectively. But that pain... it felt like someone was burning my arm off, Sara." Sara stared at the fire, unblinking, as Cyanah spoke. She could almost feel the burning in her own arm which only fueled the anger that was building. She swallowed hard and then closed her eyes, allowing it all to flow down her cheeks with the tears that had built up in her eyes. "I am so sorry you had to go though that. I would have given anything, even my own life, to have kept you from feeling that. But they wouldn't let me come to you." She suddenly understood Jvan that night in sickbay. He had seen his Imzadi hurt; she had been only hearing the details. By the time she had been beamed home, Cy's arm had already healed. Cyanah lifted her head from Sara's chest and brushed the tears from her cheeks. "But it's alright now... the pain went away, my arm healed, and I've come back to you." Blinking tears back from her own eyes, she leaned in and kissed Sara again, wanting to reassure her that everything was fine now. Sara allowed herself to get lost in the kiss, the intensity of it almost overwhelming. The kiss lasted a few minutes before Sara pulled away. "Yes, you have come back to me." Her hand slid along the curves of Cyanah's body, finally resting on her thigh. Sara smiled and she gave Cy's bare thigh a loving squeeze while in the back of her mind she thought, mine! "And we have a lot of time to make up for. The night is yours, my love. Whatever you want, we'll do." "Well... although this is divine, just laying here with you..." Cyanah looked hopefully in the direction of the hot tub. "The hot springs on Delos are quite therapeutic, you know... that must be similar." Sara laughed happily, which felt wonderful. "I was hoping you'd notice that," she said slowly as she brought Cy to her feet. She gave Cy a playful quick kiss on the lips before dashing into the back room. A few moments later, she emerged with a couple of bathrobes. "Only till we get in," she winked at Cy as she handed her the robe. After Cy had the robe on, Sara took her by hand and lead her to the patio. "I'm glad I didn't think to bring a swimsuit!" Cyanah laughed as they walked outside. The Colorado air was quite cold, causing great clouds of steam to rise from the bubbling water. As they shed their bathrobes, the chill washed over them, causing a wave of goose bumps on both women. They hurriedly got into the hot tub, and Cyanah let out a long contented sigh. "Ohhhhhhhhh, my... that's exquisite! Almost like home..." Grabbing two more glasses of champagne from her little set up earlier, Sara moved closer to Cy as she handed her one. She snuggled in close and then slipped a bit further into the water. Moaning blissfully, she smiled. "Well, if this is almost like home, then you're one lucky girl." "I'm lucky, but not because this is almost like home..." Cyanah took a sip of the champagne, then leaned in to give Sara a champagne-flavored kiss. She sank into the water so that only her head was above the surface and wrapped herself around Sara, allowing the jets and bubbles to massage them. "I'm lucky to be here with you," she said, her voice almost a whisper above the sound of the hot tub. Sara wasn't sure what to say as she smiled at Cyanah, so she reached over and sat her glass down before wrapping her arms around her lover to bring her closer, which was almost physically impossible. "I love you, Cyanah." Leaning in, Sara kissed Cyanah deeply. The night had been perfect, just as she had hoped, everything from the champagne and berries to finally welcoming her Imazdi home the proper way. Sara pulled out of the kiss and grinned. "Who knew champagne tasted better that way?" "There are a lot of things that taste better on the lips of your lover," Cyanah added with a mischievous grin. She took another long sip of champagne before kissing Sara again and letting her hands wander all over Sara's body, her skin slick from being underwater. Sara responded eagerly, and Cyanah shivered despite the hot water as Sara's fingers traced the curves of her body. They let their minds merge once more and began to feel truly mutual pleasure as their hands found where they wanted to be. A while later, they relaxed languidly in the spa, wrapped around each other as the churning water massaged them, the perfect accent to their state of total relaxation and contentment.