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A Night Without Rest

Posted on Sun Jan 14th, 2024 @ 7:47pm by Lieutenant JG Jane Sinclair & Lieutenant Ami Rori

2,395 words; about a 12 minute read

Mission: Operation Tokyo Return
Location: Jane's Quarters
Timeline: After “Let’s Watch Some TANKERY!”

Ami Rori couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned in her bed as she tried to get comfortable, but nothing was helping. When she moved to the couch, brushing it off from the remnants of snacks consumed by her and Jane during the tankery match, she still couldn't find a comfortable position that she could take. Memories flooded into her, time she'd spent with people riding in tanks, the blood, sweat and tears she'd put into the sport that decade and more ago. The memory of the adrenaline that always came when driving one of the monsters, the fun and joy.

But sleep wasn't coming and she knew she'd need it for the morning that was... She checked the chrono on the wall, damn... It had already ticked over. Once more, she got to her feet and shuffled in the grey pajamas she wore with the image of M1A1 Abrams on it towards the door. She didn't know where she was going, she just let her feet take her down the hall to another set of quarters and stopped. It was far too late to press the chime and hope that the occupant was awake, besides... She wouldn't mind. Ami used an override code to open the doors quietly and slipped into the darkened living area, where there was a single nightlight activated.

By that tiny light, she made her way over to the couch and laid down on it, once more tossing and turning before abandoning that as a bad idea and standing once more before blearily staring at one of the other doors and trudging towards it. As she silently entered, she noticed the sleeping form of the quarter's occupant in the steady breathing of a deep sleep. She was on only one side of the bed, leaving a large area on the other side, possibly just used to having someone else there? Ami yawned as she climbed into that empty part of the bed and part of her finally settled. She recognized the face, but to her, it was one far more familiar than who it really belonged to.

As she finally drifted off to sleep, Ami unconsciously slipped back towards the other occupant, seeking that bit of other warmth and comfort.

Another hour had passed before Jane stirred, reacting as she rolled unconsciously toward the middle of the bed but was blocked by an unfamiliar form. Her eyes drifted open and what had happened became more clear. The sleeping form of Ami, in warm pyjamas, snoring softly.

She should have been surprised. But she knew that her friend was always tired and sought out the little comforts. The two were familiar now, they friendship increasingly approaching one of adoptive sisterhood. So while a week ago this might have been incredibly awkward, right now it was just...nice. She took a moment to watch and listen to Ami sleep.

As Jane moved, Ami semi-sortof woke up, but didn't really. Her voice was slurred as she mumbled something, "Mō asadesu ka? Sora, ato 5-bu dake matte moraemasu ka?" (Is it morning already? Can you give me five more minutes, Sora?) She grabbed for the edge of the blanket that wasn't covering her, but then tucked her hand back under the billow instead.

“Sora?” Jane whispered to herself. She smiled and put her head back down on the pillow. She pulled the blanket up to make sure Ami was warm and carefully rolled over so she was facing away. She found the PADD on her night stand and, after turning the brightness way down, quietly looked through Ami’s Starfleet profile for a reference to a Sora.

Under the profile's data for family were several pictures, her parents, then her sole sibling, a sister with the name of Sora. As Jane selected the sister, who apparently was a member of Starfleet as well, she saw:

Ensign Sora Saito
USS Bonhomme Richarde
Age: 22
Cause of death: Skirmish with dissident Klingons along the Neutral Zone. Fought off boarders attacking the bridge, awarded Bronze Star posthumously.

From the commissioning date to the stardate of her death, she'd just been out of the Academy for about two weeks, the Bonhomme Richarde having just arrived at the Neutral Zone.

Jane held her free hand to her mouth in shock. She turned off the PADD, set it down, and had to wipe tears from her eyes.

Things were looking clearer for Jane. Ami needed to fill a void left by the untimely and tragic death of her elder sister. Jane meanwhile was filling a void too, one left indirectly by the untimely death of her father, which led to her never having had siblings. As much as Ami needed her big sis to comfort her and make sure she could fall asleep safely, Jane had nowhere to direct the love in her heart meant for a little sis.

Until now.

The pilot rolled over again to face Ami, who herself was facing away. She gently kissed the top of Ami’s head and snuggled in close, being the protective big spoon.

Ami snuggled in closer, murmuring more, "Aishitema..." (I love...) before the slight snoring began again.

**The Next Morning**

Ami woke up slowly, which was normal for her and blinked blearily as she tried to remember the previous night. One glance told her that this wasn't her own bedroom and a hazy memory told her that she'd been walking the corridors at some point. One arm was around her and she wiggled her own hands to make sure it wasn't hers and she shifted in the bed to turn and noticed the dark hair, "Sora?" She asked before rebuking herself. Of course it wasn't her sister, then something clicked, "Jane?"

Jane’s eyes fluttered open after the movement and the voice stirred her out of her sleep. “Hi,” she said softly. “You came into my room last night,” she said sweetly, making as clear as possible that it was absolutely one hundred percent okay. “How did you sleep?”

The smaller half-Trill stretched and yawned widely, "I think poorly until I came in here.. I don't remember much about it, but... I didn't want to disturb you by asking, so I think I just let myself in. I don't usually do that, sorry."

"It's no problem," Jane said as she sat up. "It was nice, actually. Truth be told the bed has been uncomfortable these past few nights. It's nice to have someone around. Someone to care about."

“It seemed that there’s usually someone else there?” Ami asked, “ Probably why I just slid in.. I’m surprised I just didn’t go down to my office, but…” She sighed deeply, knowing why she did otherwise, but not wanting to voice it. It was one thing to barge in and have it be accepted, another to tell someone of what and who had been before.

"And you're welcome to slide in again," Jane said. "Come here before you go to your office. Please. In the past, most nights I slept with Alisha, sometimes my quarters, sometimes hers. Sometimes I slept alone but not often. I've gotten used to there being someone else and a few nights alone in a row have been...strange."

Ami nodded with a smile, “I don’t often need the company myself, usually just changing location works well enough. So I may take you up on it here and there, but if you needed someone, just let me know. I.. I think I’d like it too. For reasons.” She didn’t go into those reasons, it would be too… Awkward, probably.

“Do you want to talk about it, Ami?” Jane asked. “I’m here for you. You know that, right?”

"I really can't." Ami shook her head, "It's.." She looked away from Jane, "I..."

“You miss Sora,” Jane said, reaching to take Ami’s hand.

Ami's eyes looked back to Jane, hand limp as Jane took it and it was almost instant as tears began to fill them and her head leaned against Jane's shoulder to hide them, "I really do." Her free arm twitched, wanting to hug Jane, but couldn't. Ami began to sob, "She was... She was the best of us, not just..."

“It’s alright,” Jane whispered, pulling Ami close in a deep hug and letting her cry into her shoulder. “Let it out. I’m here. I know I can never replace her, and never would try, but I’m here. Feel your feelings, Ami.”

Ami's shoulders shook as she clutched Jane hard, unable to stop the emotions from coming out, an outpouring of vulnerability from the young woman to someone she trusted. She didn't even start slowing down for several minutes, having held it in for years, her culture not allowing it. When it slowed down to snuffles, she tried to catch her breath, "The BatChat was hers, but she bought me my Chaffee as a graduation gift when she graduated from the Academy. Father kept to the old ways, didn't let us show anything when we'd heard she died, it was all 'as normal', just with a missing piece of the family. B-but as a little girl, whenever I had nightmares, Sora was always there and it seemed like I ended up snuggling up with her more often than not, and she never, ever judged my little quirks when I was little and never was too busy to spend time with her little sister. She got me into tanks and so long as I can keep that dream alive, she's still there.. You look a lot like her, just without the spots and face and all, but you're her height, build and.."

Jane stroked Ami’s hair and listened as tears came to her own eyes. Imagine, such a core piece of your family, tragically taken so early. A young woman, vulnerable, taking a most grievous emotional wound and unable to do any real healing for years.

“You honour her and her memory,” Jane whispered. “Not just with the tanks, but also in sharing with me now. Her story is part of yours, and you part of hers. And I’m glad to be part of it too.” She wiped a tear from her eye. “For whatever reason, if you need me, just ask. And if nightmares or anything else make you need to snuggle in with me, default assumption should be if I’m alone, you’re welcome to. Invited to, even. Okay?” Another wiped tear.

Ami nodded, using the back of her sleeve to wipe her own eyes and nose, eyes now rimmed with red, “I must look silly, crying over something that happened seventeen years ago.. Me, a grown woman, with several someones inside me to give me advice and knowledge and this is what gets me.” She flung her arms around Jane again for another long hug, “I just.. I had an older sister and then I didn’t and with Mother and Father going on as if it had never happened and with only a picture or two and her Shrine. I think too much is happening at once and it just got to me.”

Jane nodded back. “I lost my father. He died in a shuttle crash just a couple of weeks before I was born. So obviously I never knew him, and there isn’t a dad-shaped hole in my life, or memories of a person to miss. To me it’s about missed potential. A relationship I could never have. Little siblings I could never have. So…I know it isn’t the same, I’m not Sora, you’re not an abstract notion of sisterhood, but…but I’d like it if we can think of each other like this. Always be there. Talk about anything. Like sisters do.”

"I would love that, Jane Oneechan." Ami used the endearing term for an older sister, but then went quiet, "I just don't want to be a burden on you. So I'll do everything I can to help. I promise."

Jane smiled, blushing at the nickname, and gently stroked Ami’s hair. “The only thing I’ll ask for is privacy if I’m, shall we say, not alone in here?” She tried to think of a good notification system. “You got into my room in your sleep, but maybe I can put a second lock on the door that will be enough to offer a bit of resistance? You’d get through it easily but you’d need to think about it, and you’d realize why it was in place?”

Ami nodded quickly, "Hai, the need to think about it would definitely remind me why I shouldn't just walk in. I mean, I wasn't REALLY asleep, just sleepy before, but anything that would make me have to really pause before I could defeat would trigger that."

“Excellent. Not that I expect that to come up much with Alisha gone,” Jane observed, “but, well, you’re my little sis and I trust you to keep a secret. I have permission to see someone else when I need to. So if the door’s a lockin’, don’t come a’knockin’?” She let out a giggle at her bad joke.

"Right!" Ami giggled with Jane, then grew a bit more somber, "Jane? Arigato... Thank you."

“Any time,” Jane replied. “Before you go, what’s the word for ‘little sister’? I knew oneechan already but not the reverse.”

"Imuoto, Oneechan." Ami smiled brightly, "I haven't been called that in... Almost two decades, since she left on her first assignment. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy."

“Imouto,” Jane repeated. “I like that. Well I should start my morning workout, shower, eat, and get on duty. Have a good day…Imouto.”

Ami wrapped her arms around Jane for one final hug, the only thing missing now was a hand ruffling her hair, "Konnichiwa, Oneechan! Anata mo, Aishitemasu!"

"Alright then," Jane said, squeezing Ami and then gently pushing her away while grinning. "It's workout time now. If you're still here in thirty seconds you're joining me on a rigorous weight exercises!" she added with a laugh.

It would be fun having a little sister around.


Mission Post By:

Lieutenant Ami Rori
Chief Engineer

Lieutenant (jg) Jane Sinclair
Chief Flight Control Officer


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