Sleep was often elusive for the stodgy older doctor. It’d been YEARS since he’d slept solidly through the night, except those rare occasions when he’d caught a virus or other sickness. Tonight, apparently, was no exception. He rolled over on his left side, where he could see his wife sleeping peacefully next to him-occasionally, her face would express some emotion as she dreamed-right now, she was smiling. Good. He knew that joining a starbase in the deep throws of the Universe was a CHANGE for the three of them, but he was happy to see that his girls, as he referred to his wife and young daughter, were adjusting swimmingly. Even Minnie, just six years old, seemed to be thriving-it helped that she’d found a few youngsters to play with. Minnie was much more like Lucy-outgoing, bubbly, and talkative. He was more reserved, serious, and cautious. The two adults balanced each other, though-he couldn’t say NO to Lucy’s suggestions of night out occasionally, and she relied on his serious nature when things got tough. Finally, the warm seduction of the whisky he’d downed quickly in an attempt to force his head to calm down kicked in, and he gave in, knowing the few hours of sleep he’d be afforded were necessary so that he could continue to help people. That’s all he strove to do-HELP. He’d seen enough of the universe to know that it needed more helpers and less…not helpers. Soon, it was dark, and he fell into that sweet, sweet slumber. He was back in the Betazoid colonies, on his hospital ship. His volunteer assignment from Medical school. There was a war; Romulan and Cardassian fighters attacking from all angles. They were promised they’d be safer on the hospital ship-“alls fair in love and war except the docs. They’re sacrosanct.” He had lost someone that day-the one that got away. He still felt the guilt of that-irrational, he knew, but he fixated on it as his first big mistake. A younger Roger cared about perfection, the stern voice of his father, Roger Sr., still echoing in his brain-“You’ll never make it as a DOCTOR. Be a teacher, like me.” You couldn’t help people as an educator. Well-not in the way he WANTED. He wasn’t cut out for teaching-he disliked children then (hence why he didn’t go into pediatrics), and he hated school himself-it was boring and redundant. Turns out, he was just not being taught to his learning style. Still, it took many years of counseling for him to lose that feeling of failure, and it’d take more years before he let go of the guilt. His colleague, a pretty girl called Annie, redhead and from a planet he wasn’t familiar with, but humanoid in appearance, recognized the sorrow and tiredness behind his brown eyes-hers reflected the same. Trying to save people was HARD work, and thankless, and often-futile-in times of war. So when she suggested a cup of coffee and a chat, to break up the monotony of the evening-for all he’d do is go back to his quarters and mope-he was keen to agree. He removed his white jacket-now needing laundering, but he’d do that the next day-his day off-and got his personal items. He carried some identification always, and a pen, as habit, as well as a “lucky” coin that his late Nan, the best person to ever have graced Earth, had given him when he was five years old. Finally, he gave in to the exhaustion, and left the med bay. He followed Annie to a quiet alcove. He recognized it as one of the lounges between officer’s quarters. It was quiet, a little dark, just perfect for relaxing and prepping for sleep. In case he ever got any after this. He replicated a cup of coffee-dark, and hot-and settled in across from Annie. He listened as she talked-mostly about her life on her planet, and how it compared to his as a non-military Starfleet volunteer. It was different-they had a more advanced civilization to his-a LOT of the other humanoids did, though. He tuned out most of her voice; not because he didn’t care but because of the sheer exhaustion. He needed a [b]BREAK[/b].After several moments of silence, he stood up. “I should be getting on.” The woman looked at him, and he realized, suddenly, she’d been flirting and he’d missed the signals. [I]Of course he had.[/I] She nodded, sadly, and he had another realization. OH. He cleared his throat, and felt himself blush. “Do you want to…come with me?” He offered. Eyes closed, his head telling him how awkward and silly he was, he waited for her response. It came in the form of a gentle kiss on his lips and, suddenly, his head buzzed and the birds in his stomach clicked their tricky melody. [I]My room is closer.[/I] He let himself be pulled along; she was right, it was close by, and again-he was so dumb-that’s why she’d chosen this spot. They found her room-a single suite, befitting a higher ranking officer, and she pulled him inside. He let her take the lead-inexperienced, frightened, and overwhelmed was he. Just as things got to a headway-*BEEP* BEEP BEEP went the alarm, and his brown eyes popped open. He was back at Bravo, in his bed next to his wife, and nearby, their daughter lay, sleeping. With a groan, he sat up, and spoke lightly to Lucy. “That’s me. Off to save more lives I go.” His dreams had all been flashbacks lately. To the war. Maybe he needed to fix the fixer. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he stepped out of bed to start his day. His brain was already going 2000 miles a minute, and he knew. PTSD. He was going to need some help before he could help others.