Looks like I left out a part from the middle, so here's the revised version. Thanks for catching that, Rhi! ~Sarah "Not Quite Home" by Lieutenant Sara Crusher and Lieutenant JG Cyanah Kaelyre It was late evening on the Banshee and the lights in the corridors proved this by being dimmer and a lot softer then they were during the day. There were a few people heading towards the lounge and holodecks for some downtime but mostly the ship was quiet. Sara was one of those brave people who dared venture out into the evening environmental change. There had been a note on the bed from Cyanah to change and meet her in holodeck three at nine o'clock and Sara was more then happy to do so. Sara stopped in front of the holodeck doors and made sure the long yet sheer skirt and matching off the shoulder blouse she had on were just right and she even made sure her hair hadn't fallen out of its clips. Then she smiled and stepped closer so the doors would open. Stepping inside the holodeck took Sara's breath away. In front of her was a boardwalk and beyond that a beach that seemed to melt into miles and miles of ocean. Sara stepped onto the boardwalk and looked around as the doors behind her closed and disappeared. The air was a bit thick from the humidity but there was a wonderfully cool breeze which made it tolerable. There was no one on the beach in front of her so Sara looked both ways along the boardwalk. There seemed to be a small gazebo to the left and Sara really couldn't see what was to the right. So she went left. She had only had to go a few feet before she could see more clearly what was in the gazebo. Sara smiled and watched for a while as Cyanah fussed over something and as the hem of her white sundress danced around her bare legs. Finally, after a few more stolen moments, Sara walked in closer. "Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?" she said softly. Cyanah was startled, as Sara had managed to hide her nearness as she had silently watched. Smiling, she replied, "Yes, but it's always nice to hear again." She gestured to the ocean and purple tinted sky. "Delos, near my home..." Sara couldn't help but grin brightly as she walked up the small stone steps and into the gazebo. She was sure now more then ever that she just had to get Rhi to approve her request to leave the ship during their next shore leave. "It's amazing, Cy, I don't think I've ever seen a sky that color before." Sara paused a moment as she wrapped her arms around Cyanah. She could sense once again just how homesick she was. "You miss it so much. Your home and your family." Cyanah pressed herself into Sara's embrace, sighing longingly. "Yes, I do... it's been a long time since I've been home. I've prepared a Delosian meal for you to go with the setting." She turned to the small table that she was adjusting when Sara startled her. An array of seafood, including two filets of some sort of fish and a center tray full of purple flaky meat with a green dip in the center, was arranged decoratively on the table. Two glasses were filled with a clear liquid, and two candles danced their fiery dance next to the dipping tray. "It looks wonderful," Sara said as she took a seat at the table; her grin never fading as she watched Cyanah sit across from her. It was taking everything in her not to tell Cyanah about her plans, but she wanted to wait until she knew for sure everything was set. "Mmm, this is wonderful," she said softly after tasting what seemed to be a light fruity wine. Cyanah's face seemed to light up over the simple fact that Sara had enjoyed it. Sara listened to the waves crashing below them as she tried the fish and she couldn't help but think how special being alone on a beach had become to them. "Tell me more about your home?" Sara asked after finishing the bit of green covered purple meat, which despite its colors was really very delicious. "Well..." Cyanah began, "The section of town nearest the coast is mostly sprawling estates, and this beach is part of mine. As you move further in, it turns into a modern city, which is where most of the men and middle-classed women live and work. There's also a thriving fishing port several kilometers up the coast." Sara listened to Cyanah as she talked about Delos. There was a flicker of something in her eyes that she'd never seen before as she talk about the beach, about the gardens that surround the main house, about balcony that over looked almost all of her family's estate. Sara reached across the table and took Cyanah's hand. "You'll see it all again and maybe even show it to me for real." "I know, love," Cyanah replied, squeezing Sara's hand. "This gazebo is one of my favorite places to be..." Looking around Sara could see why. It was beautiful. You could see all the way up the beach, out across the water, and what was on the other side of the boardwalk. Sara's face lit up and the sight of the cliffs that loomed welcomingly in the distance. "Take a walk with me." She said as she stood and walked over to Cyanah, never letting go of her hand. "I want to see more." Sara gently pulled Cyanah to her feet and then took the opportunity of having her so close to kiss her. Cyanah luxuriated in the kiss, and then started to walk up the beach with Sara, holding her hand. "So, what else do you want to see?" Sara bit her bottom lip as she smiled. "Those." She pointed upward to cliffs as they walked towards them. "I bet you can see almost the whole city from up there." Although she knew the view would be amazing in the back of her mind Sara couldn't help but wonder if they were drivable. Sara had spent a lot of time diving off cliffs at the academy and even before that during her summer trips to Ireland. She had been scared to death the first time but after that she loved the rush that came with it. "You can! It's beautiful! Do you want to hike up there or just have the computer move us?" Cyanah replied, unaware of what Sara was planning. "Well let's see," Sara said as they continued towards the cliffs, "have the computer jump us to the top or walk with you to the first landing we find saving the full view for the real thing?" Sara paused and looked as if she were really thinking hard about it before smiling and pulling Cyanah towards the cliffs. It hadn't taken long to get to the first landing and even at that low level they could see for miles. "Wow," was the only thing Sara could think of to say. Cyanah smiled and took in the view, remembering it fondly. She lost herself in it for several long moments, her eyes focused on her home in the distance. Her thoughts drifted to those loved ones that were far away; she envisioned her mothers and her sisters, all on Delos living their lives of nobility, and her brother, on a starship, bravely making a career for himself. Sara was suddenly floored by what she was sensing from Cyanah. She turned from the view to look at Cyanah, taking both of her hands into her own she spoke softly, her voice more concerned this time. "Sweetie, are you alright?" Cyanah was broken from her reverie, partially by Sara and partially by realizing that while this holosimulation of home was amazingly realistic, it wasn't perfect. "The sea air, Sara... I can't get the computer to make it right. This smells too much like Earth's salt air..." "Even if you could make every last little detail perfect, Sweetie, you'd still now it was only a holodeck program." Sara reached out and caressed the side of Cyanah's face. Cyanah let out a long sigh. "Yes, you're right." She recalled learning about the incidents involving the Enterprises B and D with the Nexus; people lived the favorite parts of their lives repeatedly in there, knowing it was all fake, but perhaps forgetting after time. Sara absolutely hated seeing her Imzadi like this but she didn't want to say anything and get her hopes up about going home only to have her request denied. So instead, Sara decided to get her mind off it for a while. "Have you ever cliff dived before?" she asked, drastically changing the subject as she began undoing her sandals and the buttons on her skirt. "Cliff diving? You mean... jumping off a cliff?" Cyanah asked incredulously, her physicist's mind already working up a storm calculating gravity and force and all those things that make falling generally undesirable. Sara couldn't help but laugh as she undressed. Taking Cyanah by the hand, she walked her to the very edge of the landing and held her close looking over her shoulder and down at the water. Her bare skin pressed up against Cyanah's back. "It's fun I promise. We're not that high up. I've jumped from landings a lot higher." Cyanah undressed as she looked skeptically at the water below. "Are you sure it's deep enough?" Completely lost in the moment as she watched her lover undress it took Sara a while to realize she'd been asked a question. "Yes I'm sure. We're far enough out that it'll be perfectly safe and then we can swim back to the beach." Sara took Cyanah's hand again. "You trust me, right?" "Yes, of course I do..." she answered as she stepped out of her underwear. She looked down at the water again, then back at Sara, then down at the water, then back at Sara, letting her gaze linger for a moment on Sara's naked body. The wind picked up for a few seconds, giving the two women goosebumps, and prompting Cyanah to wrap herself around Sara. She closed her eyes for a while, enjoying the feel of her bare skin in its ultra-sensitive goosebumped state against Sara's. "Yes, love, I trust you..." she said after a lengthy embrace, "But I'm still terrified." For a moment Sara considered forgetting about the jump and staying in Cyanah's embrace, but there would be time for that after they got out of the water. "Good. On both accounts... being scared is part of the rush." Sara smiled before kissing Cyanah and again leaning towards the 'forget the jump, let's just stay here' idea, but after a few long moments she stepped back and smiled again. "OK. On the count of three we jump." Cyanah took in a very deep breath as Sara took her hand. "One. Two." Sara could feel Cyanah tighten her grip on her hand which surprised Sara a little at her strength. "Three." They sprang out into nothingness, seemingly suspended for a brief moment before the air began to rush by their ears as they started to pick up speed. Their hands separated as they entered diving form, arms stretched out ahead as their bodies arced gracefully toward the water, which rushed up to greet them. The fall only lasted a few seconds, but seemed like an eternity flying through nothingness, free of any clothes, inhibitions, or constraints of gravity. They hit the water simultaneously and bobbed to the surface a few moments later, Cyanah yelping with exhilaration. They embraced in the water, their heads slipping back under, but the two women didn't seem to need air for the adrenaline rushing through their bodies. They kissed underwater for a few seconds, still free of restraints, then returned to the surface as biology asserted itself, demanding oxygen. A minute later, they lay entwined on the beach, still full of adrenaline and using it to enjoy the rush of lovemaking rather than cliff diving.