The Gym By Lt. Jg Joe Castillo Lt. Sara Crusher The Banshee's gymnasium was empty except for a few early evening drifters who where trying to wind down for the day. Most of them were on the weight machines or work out mats, while yet another seemed to be taking the weight of the world out on the kick boxing dummy in the corner. Sara kicked and jabbed at the padded dummy as if it had done something personal to her which caused some of the other people in the room to wonder about the doctor and feel sorry for ever she was picturing the dummy as. Joe had just completed a particularly difficult session in the Holosuite. The expectation of Victor possibly joining him, and what would happen afterwards had kept him distracted to the point where the Klingon twins that normally posed no threat had done a number on him. As it were if the safety protocol had been set one level lower the session probably would have ended up with him in the ICU of sickbay if not dead. Thankfully all he actually ended up with were several scrapes and bruises that he should probably have checked out, but his Latin pride wouldn't let him. Having finished the session, but not really having anything better to do he decided to go to the gym to get some work in on his abs. When he entered the Gym off the bat his eyes went straight for the feisty redhead that always seemed to catch his attention, and he saw her manhandling a dummy. "Poor dummy, she probably think it's Josh. One of these days I'm gonna have to save him from her and I don't think its going to be pretty." Joe decided to walk over to her and see if she wanted to talk because pretty soon she was going to break the dummy, and the punching bag too. Her knuckles were red and raw, her ankles and shins bruised, and her reflexes on over drive. She hadn't even noticed who had walked up behind her and spoke until he was catching her tiny fist in the strong, get gentle, grasp of his own hand. Sara blinked as her checks, already red from the physical exertion, turned crimson. "Joe!" She huffed in surprise. "I'm so sorry, I wasn‘t paying attention." "Not a problem sweety, although pretty soon you're going to become a security risk, you training to sock one to Josh aren't you?" he said with a wide grin on his face. She couldn't help but laugh. "No it's not Josh. I guess I just got carried away." Sara smiled up at Joe as best she could. Joe chuckled and said"C'mon you can tell me the truth you look like Rocky when he was getting ready to fight Apollo Creed, but seriously is something bothering you Sara I know we just got a new counselor and all but you can still talk to me about anything anytime we younguns gotta stick together" "Your an incredibly sweet guy Joe." Sara said with a smile. "I'm just having a really bad reaction to life at the moment." Sara looked down at her hands and tried to flex out the stiffness that was sitting in. "I figured it would be easier to beat up a dummy then take out my mood on my staff again. So I came down here to work it off but it doesn't seem to be helping." Joe blushed when Sara said he was sweet, "Hey look the offer still stands you can beat up on me whenever you want I won't take it seriously, it's my job to keep the peace and preventing you from beating up Josh or your staff is part of that. Maybe you need to talk about what's bothering you instead of beating stuff up." Sara nodded in agreement but shrugged at the same time. "It would be, but it's easier feeling mad and taking it out physically on a dummy then it is to figure out why your so damn mad to began with." "Oh I see" Joe was silent for a while and the silence was awkward. He didn't know what to say. "Well then you want me to hold the dummy so you don't gotta wait for it to swing back?" Looking down at the state she was in Sara just smiled, "I think my hands have had all the abuse they can deal with, but thanks for the offer." "So besides beating up dummies, and shouting at your staff what have you been up to?" Sara grinned awkwardly and rubbed the back of her neck. "Getting ready for the Ambassador and medical teams and pretty much avoiding everyone I know and love." Sara closed her eyes and bit her lip. She hadn't wanted to say to much and that was very boarder line. Continuing his habitual practice of talking before thinking Joe didn't notice that Sara had bit her lip "Why would you avoid the ones you love Sara they’re the ones that can be there for you and support you when you're mad, sad, frustrated." "I know." Sara said quietly as she reached for her towel. "It’s just.. I don’ t know.. Not easier that's for sure, but.." Sara sighed and tried to grin. "I really have no idea, Joe, it’s just something I do." Joe began to get pretty frustrated himself, he had intended to cheer up Sara when he first walked to her but he noticed that she wasn't feeling any better yet " You know what helps me sometimes when I can't or don't want to talk to anyone and beating things up doesn't work? I write. I write about the first things that comes to mind and usually your mind will wander and you'll write about what's bothering you and it helps gain insight to what's eating me." Sara smiled finally, "I’ve done that before. In fact I’ve done that this time. I wrote a very long letter to my mother. I just haven’t sent it." Sara’s face flushed again and she whipped her towel at the dummy with a huff. Thoroughly deflated at his inefficiency to come to the rescue of this beautiful damsel in distress Joe was about ready to admit defeat. "Oh, well then I’m fresh out of ideas hun" he said as he started to frown. "Listen I gotta get a good work out in before my shift just remember what I said about me listening, and you still gotta set up that dinner between you, me, and our significant others." "Oh Joe, I didn’t mean to make it sound as if I didn’t appreciate the idea." Sara smiled at him again and then leaned up and kissed his cheek. "Thank you and it’s nice to know there are people around who care." Joe leaned in as well and gave her a hug "I do sweety, I do , and don't you forget it. I hope you feel better. I'll catch you later ok, and don't forget to give me at least 10 minutes warning before you go kick Josh's butt so I can come with a full security team in tote." Joe walked away then towards the abdominal machine hoping that at the very least his quips about Josh had lightened her mood. Sara couldn’t help but laugh as she headed for the pool to ease the stiffness in her body before heading to sick bay to have the damage repaired. "One of these days I’ll have to pop Josh just to get a laugh from Joe."