<center> <b><u>?Horse Play?</u></b> <i>Lt. Josh Asper Ensign Sara Crusher</i> </center> Sara stood in front of the holodeck control panel, "Computer load Crusher program R1." She waited as the computer beeped at her and then replied that she may enter. In his quarters Josh ran through his date preparation. He had quickly finished his sonic shower and now was shirtless; he couldn't find what type of shirt he should wear. He stood in front of his closet staring at it. He fished one out and put it on, buttoned it up, and burst out of his quarters. He sprinted down the hall; he didn't want to be late. Josh arrived at the turbolift and tapped the button to call it; it appeared almost immediately. He entered, "Deck Seven." The warm autumn sun felt good to Sara after being held up in sick bay for so long. It also felt good to know she wasn't going to die. She walked slowly though the falling leaves towards the large wooden building that sat behind a group of shade trees. She had had this Sunday afternoon planned long before she and Josh got sick, but after the last few days it seemed well worth the wait. Josh arrived at the Holodeck 2 doors and walked in. Sunlight blasted him in the face; it wasn't unwelcome, it was just unexpected. He looked around and began to clamor over fallen trees looking for Sara. "SARA!" Sara walked out of the wooden building and smiled as she watched Josh make his way towards her. She couldn't help but laugh as he stumbled over fallen branches. She threw her arms around him and kissed him softly. Josh embraced her and then began walking the same way that she had come. He wrapped his arm around her waist as they walked, "So what do you have planned for us today?" She smiled as they entered the stables. "I hope you know how to ride." She walked away from him and disappeared into one of the stalls. After a few minutes she returned with two saddled horses. Josh turned his head a little and looked at her, he gazed down at his dress pants and his nice collared shirt. "I hadn't really dressed for this. Did you do that on purpose?" Josh smirked slightly and gazed at Sara. Sara grinned at him, "I like the way you look in those pants, don't worry, your not going to get dirty, I promise." She handed him the lead to a beautiful cream colored horse. Then she watched him as he watched her mount the black horse she had kept for herself. She could feel his eyes move from her knee high black leather boots, to her cream colored tight-fitting slacks, to her off the shoulder puffy, white blouse. Her hair was in a long, red braid and Josh smiled as she flipped it back over her shoulder. Josh thought that she was at ease; he put his left foot in the lowest part of the stirrup and threw his leg over. He pulled himself off and smiled at her, "What is our destination my dear?" "You'll see." She smiled back. Leading the two out of the stable, Sara waited for Josh to come next to her. They rode threw the autumn backdrop side by side. Sara looked over at Josh, "Have you ever been on a horse before?" "My aunt has a farm and we used to ride every summer. There was a lake in the mountains we rode to. In the hot summer sun it was great when we were hot. What about you, how long have you ridden?" Sara smiled, she wasn't sure he would enjoy this, but riding is something she loves and she had wanted to share it with him. "Since I was 5. I started out on a holodeck but after we moved back to earth my Mom got us a couple real ones." "Very cool." Josh adjusted himself on his horse and pulled his shirt from being tucked in his pants. He wasn't dressed for this; but he would make do. He trotted along and gazed out into the open scenery. He caught Sara staring at him but he kept riding. He felt something for her, and he wanted her to know that. "Sara?" She took a deep breath letting the smell of apple blossoms and his after-shave fill her lungs. The sound of his voice calling her name made her heart race. "Yes Josh?" He took a breath and then he let himself sigh because he couldn't say anything, "Where are we, the location, I mean?" Sara grinned at bit at his nervousness and then looked ahead of them. She could see the clearing and couldn't help but this he must have been born with perfect timing. She said nothing as they rode though the clearing. The semi-dark wooded path gave way to a large sun-filled lake and the two were just a few meters from the water on a grassy slope under a willow tree was a red, plaid blanket and a wicker basket. Josh was mystified and was overjoyed. He got off the horse and tied it to the nearby tree and walked up the slope, he was unable to talk, he just wallowed in the beauty of the scenery and then at the beauty of Sara. He walked over to her and kissed her gently, "This is beautiful, but then again I wouldn't expect any less from you." Josh walked down the slope and over to the blanket, "What is for lunch?" Sara smiled at his reaction and blushed at his comment. She lowered herself on the blanket and opened the basket. "This is a lake near the house where my father grew up." She started to explain as she pulled French sandwiches, crackers, cheese, fruit and a bottle of wine from the basket. Josh sat down and popped open the bottle of wine and began pouring the glasses, which Sara had removed from the basket. He handed Sara a glass and sipped his own; "do you swim?" A coy smile started to tug at her lips as she leaned against him. "I spent my summers in one of two places, this lake and at my grandparents' house on Betazed, which is near the ocean. I swim only as well as I ride." Josh smiled and laughed, "Let's go." He motioned towards the water. The surprise she felt was in battle with the feeling of pure intrigue. "But we have no swim suits." Josh smiled a bit, "So?" He leaped to his feet and kicked off his shoes; he took his socks off and buried them into his empty shoes. He unbuttoned his gray, silk shirt and tossed it on his shoes, "Who cares about suits?" With that, Josh sprinted towards the water's edge; he dived beneath the surface, out of Sara's view. Josh swam about thirty feet out and then stood and looked back, his chest glistening with water, "Come on Sara!" He waved his arms for her to follow. Sara stood at the edge of the water and laughed as Josh splashed around. One part of her said not to, but the other screamed for her to do it. She smiled and then bent down to remove her boots. She rolled up her pant legs and waded into the water. Josh looked at her curiously, "Don't be too quick now." He walked out of the water to her and grabbed her and pulled her close, staring into her eyes, the moment went from playful in a blink of an eye. Josh gazed at Sara very intimately, "Sara, I care more about you than I do about anyone else on board. You have the effect on me and I can't explain, all I know is that I care for you deeply." Sara's heart raged in her chest, she was sure that Josh could feel it beating against his own. She was unable to take her eyes from his, but she couldn't find the words she wanted to say, it was almost as if she couldn't breath. She took a deep breath and opened her mouth to say that she felt the same way but nothing would come out, instead she leaned in closer and kissed him. Josh kissed her as she kissed him. This time the kiss was more passionate than it had been at the door the night of their first date. He held onto her and slowly pulled back, they both smiled, and he talked first. "With that all said and done...? Josh dunked Sara underneath the water and then headed back up the beach, he sat down on the blanket and laughed. Sara popped out of the water gasping for air. The loose parts of her hair clung to her face and her blouse was a little further off the shoulder then it had been five seconds earlier. She looked back at the blanket, her hands automatically going to her hips at the sight of Josh lying there laughing. Josh ate a couple of grapes from the basket at Sara dragged herself back up the shore. He lie there and look at her, "You look wet." He laughed as he took another sip of his wine. "Really, I hadn't noticed." She joked as she once again lowered herself onto the blanket. She took a grape from Josh's hand and ate it as she picked up her glass of wine. She took a sip and then held the glass over Josh's head. Josh didn?t flinch, but gazed up at the red wine, "That?s OK, go ahead, I look good in red." He smiled as he popped another grape into his mouth. Sara smiled at him, "Soil sport." She teased as she lowered the glass of wine. She held the glass on her hip as she leaned over and kissed him again. It was a nice long kiss and then just as she was pulling away from him, she poured the wine down his chest. Josh looked as the wine ran down his chest, some pooling at the bottom of his chest around the stomach. "You know, had I been wearing my silk shirt, I would have probably freaked. You wouldn't have anything to clean that up with?" Sara smiled as she thought about what she wanted to do to clean it off it, but once again her good girl side took over. She reached behind her and took a napkin from the basket. She gently cleaned the wine off his chest. Josh watched as she pat the wine, soaking it up with the napkin. He looked at her and smiled, he let down her hair from its braid. The hair drooped down to her shoulders as he ran his hand through her hair. "I need to get back, I told Ensign Lark I would help him realign the phaser matrix, I'm sorry." She was about to protest when her own combadge chirped. It was Terje asking for her help in sickbay. Her heart once again sank at the thought of ending their time together. She stood and watched as Josh walked over to the water to pick up their things. She smiled and ran up behind him pushing him in. "Computer end program and save." She called out. She smiled so sweetly as Josh stood up. The holodeck acknowledged and they were left in the gray, two-tone room. He handed Sara her things and then put on his gray shirt, not buttoning it, "You know that I look good in red now. Plus, I plan on getting you back for that." "Yes I do." She laughed as they walked out of the holodeck. They walked together towards the turbo lift. They entered together and called out there different destinations. Sara reached over as the doors hissed closed, kissing Josh quickly, then she whispered, "I think I am falling in love with you." The doors reopened to reveal her floor. She stepped out of the lift before Josh could say a word. Sara disappeared around the corner and Josh smiled; the doors to the turbolift closed and resumed to Josh's destination. He smiled and muttered the words; "You think? I already know that I love you."