<USS Banshee> "Infinite Reflections"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 16:29:59 -0800

?Infinite Reflections?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

Waves crashed upon the shore as the swells grew higher and higher into the sky. The water was the crystal blue color that you see in stained glass, and the white caps that formed at the pinnacle of the wave appeared to be the foam of a boiling bath of liquid. The sky was the bluest he?d ever seen it and the clouds accented the view like a picture that would adorn the wall of a famous person or of the rich people of the past.

The grass was cold to his bare feet as he shuffled through the lush vegetation that served as a prelude to the gritty sand that would soon follow. His feet hit the sand and the sand gave way to his weight as he made his way towards the water. He had had little time for himself in the past couple of days with the Cardassians and the missing Captain ? for the first time he had some time off.

Josh stopped just short of the wet sand and gazed out towards the horizon. The sun was beginning to set and the orange tint had long since overrun his position. The clouds were bathed in a mixture of colors; to Josh it was like looking at a spectrum, they were all present in this landscape.

For reasons unknown to him, Sara popped up into his mind. He missed her more than ever, but he was happy that at least she had someone to go home to. Cyanah, though not his favorite person obviously, was still good at heart and was nice to Sara. Which, of course, made her OK with Josh. Moving to the water Josh sat down and the water proceeded to rush over his legs. His black nylon wind pants ruffled together, but kept him dry.

His white tank top, which was his shirt of choice when he wasn?t on duty, was soon matted to his chest. At this point Josh didn?t care, his thoughts, emotions, and memories were gallivanting elsewhere and it was nowhere near Holodeck One. He let his mind wander backwards, back to a time where he was happiest. Sara popped up into his mind, and this time, he didn?t try to block the Earth-shattering image of her hurt him. Josh let the nostalgia take over as he was washed back into a time of happiness and wonder...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

?I am having the Seafood Fettucini.? The waiter walked over and took his order.

The waiter shrugged, ?And to drink tonight, Lieutenant??

Josh gazed at the wine, ?The wine will be just fine.? He smirked and gazed across at Sara. ?And, of course, whatever she is having??

?I will have the lobster salad.? She said as she handed the waiter the menu, ?Thank you.?
(?Love at First Sight?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Josh opened his eyes as the water slammed into him, almost toppling himself over backwards. He breathed a few time as he let his body acclimate to the colder temperature of the water that engulfed him. Then he let his thoughts drift back and analyze his memory.

Some couples wouldn?t know when they shared their first meal, what the meal was, or where the meal had taken place. Josh remembered it vividly as if he would repeat the same situation every twenty-four hours for the rest of his known existence. He had asked Sara out when he was required to get his physical from Coren Terje when he had first come aboard the Banshee. The physical wasn?t as bad as he had expected ? indescribable agony and unmentionable torture ? since Sara was present in the same room.

The where was specifically obvious to him, he had been there many times, the Down Under Lounge. It was a place of solidarity and of relaxation; the candles and the atmosphere alone put you separate from everyone else. It was the most memorable night had had spent with Sara. The dancing, the eating, and of course the gift at the end.

Knowing that he would recall more from their memorable first encounter, Josh again closed his eyes and let his memories overrun his thoughts and drown out the coldness of the holographic water that consumed his frame. Again, his thoughts drifted into memory...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

?So, who is Sara Crusher?? [Josh] asked.

She could not help but laugh at the question, mostly because it was something she was still trying to figure out. ?Well lets see,? she paused trying to find the words, ?Sara Crusher is a Starfleet brat who likes to play as much as she likes to work. She can be very shy one minute and a real,? she smiled, ?bitch the next.?
(?Love at First Sight?)*

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Starfleet Brat? Josh had laughed initially at the comment, but now that he thought about it the thought crossed his mind ? wasn?t everyone that was stationed on the Banshee or any other Federation station or ship a Starfleet Brat? Why would you go into Starfleet in the first place if you weren?t interested in it? Josh let the meaningless questions fall from his mind.

Bitch. Josh smiled to himself as the images refused to go together. On many recent occasions he found himself criticizing Sara for being just that ? a bitch. After judging her and then judging himself for doing so, he realized that it was just her character and personality and that that was what set her off from the rest of the crew as being that one person who was different in so many ways. Of course those ways weren?t all bad, many of them were good and very attractive; at least, he thought so.

Pushing the other random thoughts from his mind and clearing his thoughts to more important things like the past, Josh let the water rush by him and he eventually felt as if it were running through him. He had moved again, from the present position he was at sitting in the water to the never-ending supply of humility and emotion; his past...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

?Goodnight, Sara...?

?Goodnight, Josh,? she whispered. She stood there a moment longer not sure of what to do. She was never one to give into the impulses, but this time she could not help it. She leaned in and kissed him.

He returned [the kiss to] her, and it went longer and longer. He finally pulled away and smiled as she entered her quarters. He walked down the hall; she was still running through his mind. He couldn?t let her go because he liked her a lot. He entered his own quarters; a couple of doors down from hers and eventually pulled himself into bed, as he continued thinking of her.
(?Love at First Sight?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

At that very moment, at the precise minute that the kiss ended and the taste of her lips was the only thing he could think of, he knew that he wanted to spend eternity with this wonderful girl or angel that stood before him. It wasn?t purely sexual attraction, at least he didn?t think so, he really liked her as a person and cherished the fact that she used her mind and didn?t let it go to waste.

That evening, after that mind-altering kiss that seemed to last for an hour or more, he couldn?t get to sleep. It wasn?t just the thought of her being so close to him it was the thought that he may have finally found the sacred ?one? that would be his wife and mother his children. He cursed himself everyday after the sleepless night that he was jumping ahead. And now, after all that enthusiasm, he was without her and back to being the brotherly friend.

First dates are supposed to be horribly awful, that?s the reason that two people go on a second date ? simply to make up for the atrocious first one. It wasn?t like that with Sara; the night couldn?t have gone more perfect. The attraction between them was evident, you didn?t have to have it painted on a torpedo and launched at you to realize that.

Josh fought off the feels of regret and guilt of letting his anger get the best of him. Josh had blamed his anger and short fuse on his current situation of not being with Sara. He was too proud and ashamed to admit it to himself that it wasn?t meant to be. After all, Josh should have realized the omen that followed shortly after the end of their first date. The event that would change both of their lives forever and ultimately show them the end of their relationship before the end was even near.

The omen loomed up ahead in his mind and all he did was take a deep breath and let the horrible memories wash over him like a cloak of darkness being pulled over a glowing beacon of light...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

?Sara, are you afraid of dying??

The question took her by surprise. She looked over at Josh, who was motionless on his bed. ?I?m not afraid of death itself so much, but of what comes after that.?

Josh could feel the intellectual possibilities; that factor had been absent from most of the people he talked to on the Banshee. ?I?m not afraid myself, I am more worried about what my mother, sister, and brother will do.? He rolled over again, now he was gazing and staring at the ceiling. ?I worry about them, I don?t want to leave them; they need me. I worry about that the most.?
(?Missed Opportunities?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

In that short instance of time, when they were both bedridden with that unknown virus that had nearly taken Sara from his, he had shared his deepest and darkest secrets on death with her. He opened his soul; his never-ending struggles and achievements were open for her to see. Comfort had finally settled between them and he felt as if he could tell her everything ? but he refrained.

It wasn?t as if he was forcing the relationship to bind and work. Relations between them tightened with time and seemed to strengthen themselves without the added pushing by Josh or Sara. They tied together without any trouble, and any trouble that may have existed between the two simply melted away like a snowman does as the winter season ends and spring rears its head.

Death itself had brought life to the relationship. As Sara lie there motionless on the biobed after the virus had nearly stopped her heart Josh realized what a wonderful person that Sara was and how hard he would have to fight to keep her. The book of their relationship was started anew as the bond that they had shared in their untimely demise blossomed to be the tie that bound them together.

The waves crashed into him again, pulling him from the far off land of make-believe back to the harsh world. His hair ? so eternally gelled ? slumped to one side as the wave hammered him. His body had gone completely numb; not by the cold, but for he had blocked out the feeling and had replaced it with his thoughts and memories. His recollection of past events made up his existence now. As long as he remained in his meditative state he would be numb to emotions and feelings.

Josh struggled to refocus, the ocean was proving to be a tad more strenuous than he had hoped for, but figured that it would bully him into focusing harder to obtain his goals. The icy water slammed into him again, but he shook it off and let the excess water stream down his face. His thoughts rose about his head and body again as they ascended into the heavens, and the past in which they were housed...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

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 [there] 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.?

(?Horse Play?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Josh?s eyes darted from the abyss of water that swelled around him up into the abyss of clouds and air that soared about him ? forever out of reach. The ride through the countryside on horses was memorable moment. They had shared a picnic together, and had even gotten up close in personal while standing close in the water. At that instance Josh felt truly loved; more so than he had since his father had died when he was sixteen.

He found himself complimenting her constantly, not because he wanted to; no, it was because she deserved every compliment that floated from his mouth. She was that angel that was walking amongst the common folk. She was the blessing that landed in his lap and was a gift from whatever great beyond that Josh wanted to believe in. It was as if he?d been given a gift and there wasn?t a way ? no matter how hard he tried ? that he couldn?t keep her.

Therefore, after pursuing her constantly, she finally slipped through his fingers and into the arms of another. Jealously had enveloped him and sucked him into a world that he wished that he would never have to traverse. Once there he realized what a horrible position that he was in. It wasn?t until he came to terms with his envious actions that he could truly climb the ladder back into the real world and face his enemies and problems head on.

There was still more to their life story. Many chapters had remained unwritten and were still in the making. Being friends cracked down on possibilities, but Josh was determined to still share that special relationship with Sara that he knew was there. Even as Cyanah and Sara grew closer he was set in his ways that he would be there for every step of the journey.

Josh tilted his head back as he set his hands firmly on his knees. He clenched his knees tightly as he saw the inevitable end coming closer and closer. Eventually he would find himself recalling all the horrible and gruesome details of that terrible encounter in sickbay, but he didn?t have a choice. He had to face it, if not for his sake, but for Sara?s. He closed his eyes again and watched as the blackness turned into his past experiences...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

They walked together towards the turbolift. They entered together and called out their 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 knew that I love you.?
(?Horse Play?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Josh opened his eyes, his body numbed and immune to the effects of the arctic-like waters. He looked around and searched the horizon for something of value, or something just to get his mind away from Sara. His meditation was doing what he wanted it to do. He remembered the good times, and stashed the bad times deep inside never to be heard from again.

How was he to realize that the relationship would blossom and spawn into a more in-depth bond? Was he really oblivious to the flood of emotion that he felt from her? Was he completely in the dark about how she felt about him; or, more importantly, how she was expressing her feelings?

At that very moment, even when the roaring waves consumed him, Josh could see past his doubt and his troubles, and was sucked back into the time where he enjoyed her and just what he had missed by letting his anger consume him. Away, away the waves took him back to the past not so long ago...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Josh watched in awe as she pranced around, doing what needed to be done. He felt loved and wanted; after all, all commotion and random actions were directed for his needs and requests. Josh sat on the couch and gazed at the busy body quickly walk around the room. He smiled and raised his voice; ?I love you.? He couldn?t remember if he?d said it before, but it came out right this time. (?Wine, Roses, & Candlelight?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

He wasn?t sure how long had passed, if any. The waves looked the same; the sand that supported his body didn?t seem to move. Being that he had said what he had said, and he waited what seemed like a lifetime for her response, he realized just how much he relied on her presence. Her very essence of life was what drove him to be a better person and what ignited his inner fire.

Reciprocating the feelings and the words that he had initiated was easy for him, but for Sara it didn?t come so easy. He felt as if he was sitting on the edge of a giant precipice. If she said what she wanted him to say he would be pulled to safety, forever away from that threat of falling. If she said that she didn?t feel what he felt for her, he would take a nosedive and plummet however far it would take before the harsh reality slammed him in the face.

That feeling of your stomach leaping into your throat or dropping into your right leg was enough to paralyze even the most drunk or tough of Klingons. The fear that was instilled to you with that feeling of tangible loss would overpower you. The prolific amounts of encounters and situation that bring this horrible reality to light is what scared Josh the most.

Sara had given him the best time of his life; everything that they?d done together had been firmly entrenched into his memories. The walks, the talks, the hugs, the kisses, and the time that was just spent in each other?s arms was enough to hold him onto her very existence. That existence is why he needed to flush himself clean. And to clean himself, was the forget the past...

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

?I have never felt this way about a man before in my life. I have spent many nights sitting in that chair trying to figure out how I feel about you.? She could see the fear, the love, and the risk in his eyes. ?I told you once in the turbolift that I thought I was falling in love with you?when I heard you say those words just now it made me realize something.?

Millions of thoughts raced through his head, he didn?t know what she was going to say. A part of him was horrified, the other was enticed; but, above all, he was curious. This could go one way or the other. He took a breath. ?And that is...?? He trailed off so she could answer his inquiry.

?I?ve fallen.? She whispered as she leaned in closer to him. ?I love you too.?
(?Wine, Roses, & Candlelight?)*

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The water forced him, at last, to stand to his feet and shake whatever turmoil was in his head out to the icy waters. He wasn?t sure whether or not his prolonged feelings would stay, or whether they would be sucked away like the tide does in the early hours of the morning.

From his perspective, life with Sara was over. He wasn?t happy about it, as a matter of fact; he was quite distraught with the situation. Josh missed that touch, missed that yearning sensation just to be in her company.

Brushing all of the emotional politics to the side, Josh stood and let the water drain off his soaked clothing. His eyes traveled the horizon again, and found nothing. That road, that he had fought so hard to travel down, was no the road that he wished that he would never have to travel again. Being thankful for that time of his life, he wouldn?t change it for anything. Although, the trauma and the problems it had caused him in the falling out had crushed him beyond all forms of repair.

For the time, he would just stand and gaze at his landscape. He had messed around with his memories, brought them to heart, and now they would stay here in the holodeck. That chapter of the book, the one that?s main character was Lieutenant Sara Crusher, was over. The new chapter began as the life of a single man renewed, but the chapter that?s ending was over so soon would be the best ever written. The chapter was over, but his life was not.

** All logs that were apart of the many flashbacks are available if you wish to see them, or weren?t around when they were first sent out. Please contact myself or Sara and we would be more than happy to send them to you. We enjoyed pursuing our characters in this fashion and would like to share it with you.

?Love at First Sight?
?Horse Play?
?Wine, Roses, & Candlelight?

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