"Just Before Sleep Comes." By: Lt. Commander Sara Kaelyre The only sounds in the room were the sound of shallow rhythmic breathing, the kind that comes with a deep and peaceful sleep, and the soft whistle of a winter wind blowing through the trees that surrounded the holographic replication of Sara’s Aunt Beverly’s Aspen condo. There was one other sound but only Sara could hear it. As she lie in the large plush bed entangled in it’s soft white sheets and her sleeping wife‘s arms, both of them bathed in the silver moon light streaming from the skylight, her head resting perfectly on Cyanah’ s chest, Sara listened to the beating of her Imzadi’s heart. It was strong and steady and it amazed Sara at how it seemed to beat in sync with her own. She lied there listening to Cyanah’s heart beat and her soft breathing and watched out the large picture window as the holographic snow danced in the cold Colorado winds and thanked whatever deity might be listening, be they Human, Betazoid, or Delosian, that Cyanah had come to her office with her ‘It’s us-time. No working tonight.’ edict. Sara hadn’t realized how utterly exhausted she was mentally and physically until she had settled in next to Cyanah in the hot tub. Nor had she realized just how much she’d missed Cyanah and spending time with her until she was wrapped in her wife’s arms while they sat on the couch watching the fire crackle and pop in the fire place. Sara was starting to feel better then she had felt in weeks. She felt relaxed and at peace, and even though her body cried out for sleep it still felt warm and tingled from the night’s activities. It still surprised Sara that someone could know her and love her so completely that she knew just when Sara was about to break and could pull her back from the edge. As Sara stared out the window at the mountains and the swirling snow she knew deep down that that edge was still there. She knew that the night she was spending with her lover locked away privately on the holodeck wouldn’t last forever and that if she wanted to prevent the image of herself in her dreams she’d have to get back to work and she’d have to stand right on that edge again. But for now Sara had promised herself she wouldn’t think about work, about the half completed compound that sat in her lab unless without more work, or about the old woman who haunted her dreams, ideas, and thoughts. For a brief moment Sara did allow herself to think about the dream that had started this, only this time her thoughts were about the positive aspects of it not the ones she saw as negative. She thought about the life they’d had in her dream, the way they were, and their careers, their home, and their family. A slow smile stretched across Sara’s face as she wondered how Cyanah would react if she told her about the dream. Would Cyanah laugh at how in her dream of their future fifty some years down the road, Sara still hated waking up in the mornings and still tried to fend of the day by hiding under the covers? Would she laugh at the idea of herself being a big wig at Daystorm, or at their double sided boxed pips? Would she think it funny that fifty years from now she’d still be trying to get Sara to cut down on her coffee intake? What would she think about them having four children, all girls, and the names that Sara had dreamt about? Would she think it was funny that Sara’s dating advice to their daughters was not to date anyone named Asper? Sara’s mind quickly filled with wonderful questions about what their future would be like for real. How many children would they have? Would they really settle on Earth or could Betazed or Delos be a possibility? Would they settle on a planet at all? Science ships needed captains and so would the new fleet of medical ships Star Fleet was planning. The possibilities were endless and that thought made Sara smile brightly. She hadn’t felt the warmth and excitement of the unknown that lay ahead of them since they returned from Delos, since she had became so focused on the single aspect of her dream that scared her. ‘It’ll all be worth it when we’re watching our family grow by generations together.’ Sara told herself as she felt herself falling into those heightened moments of awareness that came just before sleep took over. Sara closed her eyes and listened to Cyanah’s heart beat and tightened her hold around Cyanah’ s waist. She smiled and the last thing she thought about before falling completely asleep was how much she was in love and how happy she was right then and there and about how she wanted more of these moments. Without knowing it her resolve to complete the treatment that would alter her physical being right down to her DNA was renewed.