“Making Up Is Worth
by Lieutenant SG Sara Crusher
and Commander Cyanah Kaelyre
No one on the crew liked the idea of having to spend any more time then they absolutely had to in sickbay. It didn’t matter how warm and welcoming the staff tried to make it, it just wasn’t the place to be, especially if you had other, much better places in mind. That’s when the walls start to close in and the sound of the chronometer on the wall starts to sounds like a banging gong as it ticks away the minutes you should be spending elsewhere. So it was no great surprise that the bed at the far end of the room, which once held a very argumentative redhead, was now empty.
Her triumphant shift over, Cyanah was headed for sickbay. She had just made a breakthrough that had taken her years of research to see come to fruition. The feeling of euphoria after she’d packaged her findings and sent them to Starfleet Science was quickly shattered when Cannon had inadvertently delivered the news of Sara’s injury, but now that she knew Sara would be fine, she felt mostly happy again.
The sickbay doors opened and Cyanah walked quickly across the quiet room to Sara’s bed. She was not surprised at all to find the bed empty, given that Sara wasn’t the type of person to lay around in a biobed all day. Taking a moment in the quiet to reflect, she noticed one of Sara’s hairs, starkly red against the white pillow, and brushed out at it with her fingertips. The fight between them was already over, she felt, but they’d never actually put an end to the argument. All feelings of anger had evaporated when she saw her love injured on the bed, but the conflict needed closure. Her mind was fully open to Sara again after she’d closed it in anger, but it was oddly quiet on the other end.
“Computer, location of Dr. Sara Crusher.” She spoke quietly to avoid disturbing anyone else in sickbay, but her voice was still a knife cutting through the background hum of heart monitors and hypo-IVs.
The computer’s monotone voice responded just as quietly, as if it could sense the room’s atmosphere, “Dr. Crusher is in Lt. Kaelyre’s quarters.”
Cyanah arched an eyebrow as the corner of her mouth perked into a wry grin. “Not so injured as I was led to believe, then,” came her whispered reply to the computer, who did not respond. “I wonder why her mind is so quiet.”
Sara smiled brightly as she waited for Cyanah to show up. She knew it wouldn’t be much longer since she’d had the computer alert her the moment Cyanah entered sickbay. She imaged the scene in her mind as she stood and walked a few steps away from the table. Cyanah would go in, find the empty bed, eventually ask the computer for her location, find out Sara was in her quarters and then be surprised yet again when she got there.
A light laugh escaped from Sara’s lips as she spun around to look at what she’d spent weeks working on. If only she could see Cyanah’s face when she walked into her bedroom to find, instead of her recovering fiancée, a large gift box with a big red bow, a rose with a note, and a very lonely looking commbadge.
Cyanah stood in her bedroom looking incredulously at the empty bed and the objects on it. Sara’s commbadge seemed to almost taunt her as she picked up the note, which simply said, “Holodeck 3. Wear this. ~S.”
Smirking, she briefly wondered if Sara meant to wear only the rose, but the box beckoned her with its mysterious contents. She tugged on the bow and untied the ribbon, and pulling the top off she found a deep purple puddle of silk that could only be a dress. She smiled happily, her eyes getting moist at the gift, and started to prepare as quickly as possible so she wouldn’t leave Sara waiting.
Half an hour later, she entered holodeck three in the dress, which had a low V-cut bodice matched by an even lower V in the back that ended in a pool of silk. The flowing gown was slit thigh high on one side, allowing Cyanah’s milky skin to be starkly visible next to the dark fabric. She also wore the emerald pendant that Sara had given her on their first Christmas together and a pair of emerald earrings that she’d bought while in the Academy. She’d done her hair as quickly as possible, putting it up and allowing thin tendrils of red to fall on her cheeks to bring out the red of her lipstick. Her engagement ring glittered on her finger as she took in the scene, holding the single rose.
The hissing of the holodeck doors opening and closing made Sara smile as she turned to look at the garden gate that Cyanah would soon be walking though. She felt herself holding her breath as she listened to the sound of Cyanah’s heels on the stone tiled path that lead from the holodeck doors to the small private garden that Sara was waiting in.
She looked around quickly one last time to make sure everything was just right, just the way it had been when she’d first stumbled onto this little patch of heaven during her last year at the Academy, a little quiet spot in the French Quarter of New Orleans, away from the noise and fuss of Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras.
Simple strands of white lights strung from lamp post to lamp post helped to illuminate the area where a small round cast iron table and two matching chairs stood as center pieces on a smooth stone patio that Sara had determined to be a perfect dance floor. The sound of a small waterfall built into the rose covered stone wall that line the perimeter of the garden blended in with the soft music that played from an invisible source. The jasmine scented mid-summer southern air was warm and gentle.
Sara smiled to herself and nodded. The place was perfect; now to check the person. Her hair was pulled back into a French roll with two single strands of lose hair curling along her jaw line. Her dress was simple. Three layers of flowing black georgette with spaghetti straps, thigh high slit, a scooping neck line and low cut back, which were covered at the moment with a sheer black shawl.
The sound of footsteps grew closer and Sara looked up from fussing with her dress and smiled. She let down the shield she’d had up to filter her thoughts when she heard Cyanah call out her name, and then smiled when the woman appeared in the gateway. “I‘m not sure which to say first,” she said softly as she started towards Cyanah. “Happy birthday or I’m sorry.”
Cyanah was completely taken off guard, both by the sight of Sara in such a beautiful dress, and by what Sara had said. “Oh… wow,” she managed to get out, placing her hand on her chest. “I’m sorry too, love… we let that get completely out of hand.” For the moment, in her mind, the apology was more important than her birthday.
Sara shook her head as she reached out and took hold of Cyanah’s hand. “You were right in what you said, Cy. I do need to stand up to my grandmother and not just say I‘m going to do it. I just wish it hadn’t taken you shutting me out to get me to call her.”
“I’m so sorry, Sara… I shouldn’t have exploded like I did. It was a lot of built up frustration being released, and I shouldn’t have used you as the target.” She squeezed Sara’s hand and watched her eyes.
While the fight was happening it seemed like the worst thing in the world to Sara, but her mother was right; they were about to spend a very long time together and it was highly unlikely that they wouldn’t explode at each other from time to time. It hadn’t been the fight that had hurt Sara so much, it had been Cyanah shutting her out of her mind, but Sara couldn’t blame her for that, she’d done the same thing when in Ireland.
Sara smiled as best she could as she looked into Cyanah’s beautiful eyes and with as much of a chuckle as she could muster replied simply, “Who better to be a target when you need to blow off steam then your fiancee, eh?”
The mood between them instantly felt lighter, and Cyanah smiled in reply. “I suppose it’s bound to happen from time to time. Let’s just keep it from happening too often, okay?”
“Well, ya know with two redheads in one household it might be harder then we think,” Sara said with a brighter smile, “but I promise to try and keep it to the bare minimum. Although,” Sara’s smile suddenly became a lot more mischievous, “there is something to look forward to after a fight, ya know.”
“Is this some Human or Betazoid tradition I’ve never heard of, or is it…’making up?’”
Sara laughed out loud before leaning in and kissing Cyanah deeply as she wrapped her arms around her lover’s back. A few long minutes later when Sara stepped back a bit she looked at Cyanah and smiled. “What do you think?”
“Mmmm… perhaps the occasional fight isn’t so bad after all,” Cyanah replied, her eyelids low and relaxed. “That felt closer than ever after being so distant.”
“It did indeed.” Sara said as she brushed one of the long strands of Cyanah’s hair away from her eyes. Feeling a lot lighter then she had when she’d come into the holodeck, Sara leaned in and kissed Cyanah again quickly on the lips before moving behind her and wrapping her arms around Cyanah’s waist. She placed her chin on Cyanah’s shoulder and whispered in her ear, “And now with that out of the way, Miss Kaelyre... Happy Birthday Sweetie.”
“Thank you! With your injury and all the excitement in the science lab, I had honestly forgotten about my birthday. Thanks for remembering for me.”
Sara beamed as she walked them towards the table in the middle of the garden. She let go of Cyanah and poured them two glasses of champagne and then offered one to Cyanah before turning back to the table. “Now what kind of wife-to-be would I be if I let something as silly as a phaser wound get in the way of celebrating your birthday?” This time when Sara turned around she held another gift box, much smaller then the dress box but with the same big red bow.
“Another gift?” Cyanah asked with astonishment. “This dress is more than I’d ever hope or ask for!”
The sparkle in Cyanah’s eyes when she opened gifts always made the moment well worth it, and Sara was glad she’d held out and waited to give it to her. The small frosted crystal sculpture of two female lovers in an embrace had come weeks ago from Betazed and was burning a hole in the back of Sara’s closet. “It’s kind of a birthday and wedding gift all in one, not that I won‘t get another present for you when our wedding finally rolls around, but it was just too perfect not to get for you.”
Cyanah opened the box, eyes glistening, and her face brightened when she saw the sculpture. “It’s gorgeous! It’ll have to go right on the end table so the lamp will play light off it. Thank you!” She drew Sara into a long hug and grateful kiss.
Sara was fully enjoying the kiss and had totally melted into Cyanah’s arms, so when the kiss ended she was more then a little reluctant to let go of their embrace. Instead she placed the gift box and sculpture on the table and just said, “Dance with me.”
After getting a gentle nod and a warm smile from Cyanah, Sara moved them away from the table and into a clear part of the patio. The soft, sultry, romantic melodies of the jazz music Sara had picked out to match their New Orleans setting seemed to get slightly louder as the two women fell into step with one another.
Sara sighed with pleasure. The feeling of Cyanah’s breath on her neck, the way they fit into each other’s arms so perfectly, the fact they could feel the other’s heart beating, it was all more intoxicating then the champagne to Sara.
Cyanah easily fell into the motion of the Terran dance, having been taught Delosian formal dancing since childhood. She let the smooth jazz tones guide her movements with Sara, finding the rhythm naturally, as music had a tendency to be a universal language. The scent of primrose wafted from Sara’s hair, the smell of her herbal shampoo, and Cyanah reflected on how much she had missed even that little detail.
They danced well into the night, only pausing for dinner, before retiring to one of their quarters; it didn’t matter whose as the two separate spaces had already become blended, much as their lives had. The two nights spent apart were quickly forgotten as lovemaking added to the intoxication of champagne and dancing, then gave way to the warm serene high of falling asleep in the arms of a lover.