Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The rights to those characters and to the show belong to the creators of the show, to CBS, The Sullivan Company and to A&E.

To the Stars

By, Ashley J.

Loving him had never been so easy. Everything about him made Michaela's heart skip a beat every time she pictured him in her mind. His strong, muscular body, his long, brown hair, and his deep, penetrating eyes were only part of what made Byron Sully so incredibly irresistible to his wife. His heart was as big as the entire world, she knew, and his soul walked a path with hers, though their paths may have curved in different directions a time or two. They both wanted the same things: A happy life together and happy, healthy children. They had that now, and being able to share that together made their love stronger day by day.

Though they had their differences, they made it work, and with their family changing (by the day, it seemed), stress was put upon both of them. They handled it wonderfully, and with Michaela's recent attachment to baby Katie, she felt as if she hadn't been there for Sully enough. He had been feeling neglected, though he hadn't wanted to upset her by telling her so. But, Michaela had been determined to make it up to him somehow. Now that they'd finally been able to make love without being interrupted by a hungry or fussy Katie, they were both exhausted, pleased and mutually deeper in love than before.

She'd never known that it would be possible to fall in love with the same person more and more with each and every day that passed, but it was possible. The heart never lied, and Michaela's heart seemed to beat faster and stronger for Sully every morning when she woke in his arms and every evening when she fell asleep in that same place.

There were no words to describe the way Sully made her feel with a simple glace, touch or kiss. One look could send desire raging through every part of her being. One touch could send a burning, passionate spark from his fingers to her very core. One kiss could take her away from everything and send her to a place beyond the heavens; beyond the most wonderful place that a person could comprehend.

Michaela would often lie awake listening to the crackling of the fire, and when the comfort of sleep would finally take over, she would dream of far away places like she used to as a young girl. She couldn't help it. Sully made her feel like she was a young, twenty-something woman with her entire life ahead of her and no worries or cares in the world.

Even on this summer evening, the room began to grow chilly, and Michaela didn't want Katie to catch something at her tender young age, so she ever-so-slowly pulled herself out of bed, pulled her robe on around her naked body, and walked over to add three logs to the fire. The flames brightened and grew a little, and Michaela rubbed her hands together, holding them out toward the fire for a moment until her palms began to glisten with a thin coating of perspiration.

Katie made a grunting noise in her sleep, and Michaela feared that the girl would wake loudly and bring her father out of his dreams. Sully was obviously sleeping heavily. Michaela had come to know when he was and wasn't sleeping well by the sound of his breathing and the pace of his beating heart while he slept.

Michaela had to pause for a moment, and she became overwhelmed with happiness. Being married and being a mother suited her well, and Michaela knew that this family was the most important thing in her life, setting aside everyone and everything, including her medical practice.

Katie continued to fuss, and Michaela picked her up.

"Come on, sweetheart," she whispered. "Let's let papa sleep." She carried her out of the room and down the stairs. Once she was downstairs, she sat in the darkness at the dinner table and bared her breast to Katie's impatient mouth. As the baby began to nurse, Michaela stroke her little cheek with her finger. Katie's eyes closed as she nursed, and she made little grunting noises as she did so. Michaela stroked the little girl's back, soothing and comforting her.

Thunder rumbled outside, and Michaela felt Katie jolt a little.

"Shh," Michaela whispered softly. "It's all right, Katie. I won't let anything happen to you. I promise." As Michaela sat there, she began to doze off, but it wasn't too long before she felt strong hands on her arms. She immediately opened her eyes and looked down to see Katie sleeping soundly at her breast.

"C'mon. Let's go back to bed," Sully whispered. Michaela smiled at the sound of his voice as he leaned in so close and whispered into her ear. The stubble on his chin brushed against her cheek, sending a thrill throughout her body. His lips pressed against the nape of her neck, and he proceeded to trail his finger along the path he'd created with his mouth.

"Good idea," she whispered, feeling those initial fires inside of her beginning to ignite. She handed Katie to her husband and tied the front of her robe. Sully smiled at her, never taking his eyes off of her magnificent form. That was something else she loved about Sully. He never went a day without reminding her of how beautiful he thought she was. Even during the pregnancy and right after the birth, he loved every part of her. She had been thrilled to return her to pre-pregnancy weight and size, but Sully had assured her that even if that wouldn't have happened, he still would have found her just as attractive as he had the first day he saw her.

"Sweet dreams, Katie," Michaela whispered as Sully placed the sleeping baby down in her crib. Michaela covered her with her blanket, and the two stood there for a moment, taking in the site of their daughter's slumber. It was a rare occasion that Katie slept this peacefully at night, but she was definitely waking up less frequently than she had been a month before.

"We best get some sleep too," Sully whispered, bringing his arms around Michaela's waist and softly caressing her outer thigh through the fabric of her robe.

"Sleep, Mr. Sully?" Michaela wondered. "Are you sure that's what you have in mind?" Sully nuzzled the back of her head and chuckled quietly. "If you're really that tired, then I agree that we should get some sleep." She casually pulled away and started for the bed, all the while biting her bottom lip to keep from giggling. He made her feel so light and carefree; as if she could do anything or say anything, and it would be alright.

She heard him stride across the room, and a moment later, his hand was reaching for hers. She turned to face him, and his eyes held her gaze as his hands moved from her shoulders down her arms, slipping the gown off of her body.

"I thought you were tired," she breathed, her breath quickening from the feel of his hands on her. Sully couldn't take it anymore. He chuckled a little, and Michaela reciprocated with a small laugh before Sully pulled her close and brought his lips down upon hers. "Sully?"

"Hmm?" He pulled away to look into her eyes.

"Do you ever feel like you wish we could just feel like we're alone?"

"What?"

"When we're together? Do you ever feel like nothing else exists except for us?" Sully smiled a little.

"Yeah." Michaela smiled and kissed him softly.

"If we could go away to someplace nobody has ever been to before, where would you want to go?" Sully raised an eyebrow.

"This from the woman who it was like pulling teeth to get you to say what you'd like to do if the world was ending?" he wondered.

"Come on. Tell me."

"I dunno," he replied quietly.

"I do."

"Ya do?" Michaela nodded again and sighed softly, setting her lips in a dreamy smile.

"I'd want to go to the stars. Since I was a little girl, I've always wondered what it would be like to live on a star; to dance among the stars." A smile spread across Sully's face.

"Well, I can't bring the stars to ya, but . . ." He held his hand out to her. She took it, and as he held her naked body against his, they began to move slowly along the floor, dancing and holding one another as if they were the only two souls in the world. "Close your eyes."

"Why?"

"Just do it," he whispered, running his hand along her back. Michaela finally complied and closed her eyes. "What do ya see?"

"Nothing. My eyes are closed," she teased. Sully chuckled.

"C'mon. Humor me."

"Sorry," she whispered. Michaela relaxed as she and Sully continued to dance slowly in front of the fireplace.

"What do you see?" he asked again. Michaela smiled and let out a soft sight. She leaned in and pressed her lips against her husband's.

"The stars," she whispered, her breath hitting his skin, causing it to tingle with anticipation. When Michaela opened her eyes, she found Sully's eyes staring into hers with the desire she knew oh-so-well. "Sully, do you think it'll ever be possible for people to go to the stars?"

"I dunno," Sully replied softly, running his fingers through Michaela's long hair. "I s'pose if somebody figures out how to go to the moon, they'll be able to get a closer look at the stars." Michaela smiled and rested her head upon Sully's chest. "But you can always get there in your dreams. Every time ya wanna go to the stars, all ya gotta do is close your eyes."

"If only that were really true," Michaela replied. Sully pulled back a little and scooped Michaela up into his arms. She let out a squeak of surprise.

"Sully! What are you doing?"

"Shh." Sully whispered, reminding her that Katie was sleeping. "Takin' ya to the stars." He nuzzled her neck and began to place kisses along her collarbone. Before too long, they were lying in each other's arms in the afterglow of their lovemaking.

Sully had long since fallen asleep, and Michaela was well on her way. But, before she fell into a sweet dream of dancing amongst the stars, she smiled softly and realized that even if dancing amongst the stars, which she doubted was possible, never happened for her, she could always go there when she was in Sully's arms.

The End