"The Morning After"
[previous "Curiouser and Curiouser"]


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-143 (Jayson)
Stardate: 30152.0540

He studied her through the night without making a sound, scared that his simple breathing would wake her.  She appeared so peaceful there on top of the bed.

On the Skydome deck Jayson had thought that this woman had been Ya'Han.  The mistake had been an easy one to understand given just how much the two of them looked alike.  The unknown woman had returned to his room while hanging onto his arm.  The feeling had been both nice and strange all at the same time for the OPS officer.

The last time someone had held on to him that way had been in another life.  Because of this he felt guilty in the tender warmth that he had experience through such a simple act.  Jayson felt even more guilt when he would look at the woman and see his shipmate holding onto him.  He could not tell if the gesture had been caused by fear or loneliness, but he could not find it within him to stop it.

Once in his room the two spoke about themselves, yet she managed to never reveal anything about her actual identity.  The woman had remained a complete mystery until she fell asleep on his bed.  Not having learned anything, Jayson hoped that she might reveal something in her sleep, so he watched in silence.

She mumbled something that he had been unable to make out from the corner of the bed where he sat.  So he leaned in closer hoping to be able to make out words from the sounds that came from her lips.  He watched and listened with such intensity that Jayson could see nothing else but her lips.

He was completely surprised when she wrapped her arms around his neck, her eyes having opened to the fullest in a single second.  Had she baited him or had he woken her by his closeness?  The only thing he needed to had was to gently grab her wrists and free himself from her hold.  His only crime having been to lean in too close to hear what she had been mumbling.

She fought against his effort to escape while she smiled.  Her strength had not been anywhere close to that of their Chief of Security Ya'Han.  A subtle reminder that this woman had been someone else, a stranger, but Jayson could not bring himself to use his strength to break free.  Her smile was intoxicating and he soon found himself leaning in even closer.

She did not push him away, in fact she pulled him closer until their lips touched.  Flashes of his wife invaded his mind as well as dreams of the woman with hair as black as night who had tossed him onto the gymnasium mat the first time they sparred together.  Confusion filled his thoughts as he found himself wanting to take the woman into his arms to explore his feelings, while wishing above all else to be anywhere but here.

Kissing a stranger had been a forbidden act, one made to be this way because of the loving memories of his wife.  Kissing Ya'Han, even if only in appearance had been crossing a professional line that he could not permit himself to ever do.  Yet, the warmth against his lips had been so inviting, so perfect that there had been no way for him to resist.

Just as he felt himself ready to completely lose control, he found the emotional strength to do what he had needed to do.  As gently as he could, he pushed himself away, forgetting for an instant that eh had been sitting right at the edge of the bed.  The short fall seemed to last an eternity as he saw the distance between the woman resembling Ya'Han and himself increase.  It had been as if he had pushed himself down an bottomless abyss, a move that he had instantly regretted when his eyes met those of his shipmate.

He fell into nothingness until his limp body finally crashed onto the floor with the force and elegance of a thousand starships.

Jayson pulled himself back onto his feet to find himself at the feet of the bed and not its side.  What he saw next confused him even more, the bed had been empty, the strange woman having left without his knowledge.

The kiss had been nothing more than a dream, but what a dream it was.


Jayson Sousa

Ensign Jayson Stark
Chief of Operations