After All These Years

By Seema

This story follows "When the Children Cry." I hope you like it. And also, it was written before Sisko actually married Kasidy (way before) in an episode which I can no longer remember the title of. Anyway, so disregard the canon wedding - this story has nothing to do with the "authorized" version of Sisko's nupitials. But since it's the alternate universe, I can do what I like, right? (no, don't ask Paramount that question - I don't have the money that would be required for a "yes" answer).

And oh yeah, characters belong to the powers that be at Paramount and to the wonderful actors who bring (brought?) them to life every week.

Jothan Yates belongs to me. His character has no basis in canon, but I needed a father for this story, hence Jothan.


He supposed he had every right to be nervous, but he didn't understand why he was nervous. This wasn't the first wedding he had attended nor would it be the last. He had officiated at so many ceremonies and blessed so many couples. Performing weddings was part of his job, both as captain of Deep Space Nine and also as the Emissary.

This was just another wedding.

But as he stared in the mirror, adjusting his bow tie so that it was just right, he knew exactly what the difference was.

Today, he, Benjamin Sisko, would be getting married.


It seemed so odd - to think, to feel, to imagine - for him to even contemplate marriage again. Yet, here he was, just a scarce three weeks after proposing to Kasidy Yates, he was getting married.

There were some who would argue with Benjamin Sisko that this was not the time to be getting married.

After all, there was a war going on. He should spend his energies on something productive, expend his intellect towards defeating the Dominion - not towards planning a wedding.

This war, though, was omnipresent. It occupied Sisko's every waking thought, plagued his dreams and haunted his days. The burden of the war never went away and after five years of battle with the Dominion and the Cardassians, Sisko could no sooner push away the war than he could cut off his own hand.

A wedding, he thought, could hardly distract him from the war.

But today, he resolved to put all thoughts of the Dominion aside. He would not think of the Cardassians or the failed peace treaty. Nor would he think of that new Bajoran terrorist group, the White Rose, which had emerged from out of nowhere in just the last month.

Today, he would think of none of those things. For one day.

"I'm allowed," he told his reflection. "I'm allowed to have this day."

And more importantly, his crew were allowed to have this day.

Sisko had watched how the war had torn them apart, wreaking havoc in their lives. For the most part, they were drifting, the uncertainty of it all killing them slowly inside.

There had been good times over the last five years, he admitted, and during the hard times, he tried to remember those times. There was some comfort in friends, solace in happy memories.

Unfortunately, as the tide turned against the Federation, it seemed harder to find any hope at all. Each new list of the dead which landed on his desk on Fridays bore the name of someone he knew. The other day, he had seen the name of Carlton Wright. Wright had served as helmsman on the Saratoga so many years before and Sisko remembered him as a cheerful young man with a smile for everyone.

Sisko sighed. Today he would not think of Carlton Wright or of the others. But then, inadvertently, his thoughts turned to the recent attempt at peace with the Cardassians.

The treaty with the Cardassians had started out so promising, a way to end this war. And then, a few calculated attacks along the border from the White Rose, and the treaty fell apart. Disintegrated. Shattered. It didn't matter what word was actually used, Sisko only knew one truth: peace was a long time coming.

"Dad?" Jake entered his father's bedroom. Sisko turned to face his son. He was grateful for Jake, thankful that nothing had happened to his son over these long years.

While he wanted his son safe on Earth, he understood why Jake had chosen to leave the writing school in New Zealand and return to Deep Space Nine. There had been many opportunities for Jake on Earth to hone his writing skills but instead, Jake decided to use his position as the Captain's son to cover the war. So far, his stories had won acclaim for their human touch and Sisko was genuinely proud of his son's achievement.

"Hi," Benjamin smiled, a bit shakily.

"So you're really going to do it?"

"I think so, yes."

"Dad, I'm really glad. It's about time."

Benjamin grinned, "That's exactly what Dax said when I told her."

Jake's face softened, "You know I've always liked Kasidy and Dad, I know you were trying to stay true to Mom, but I think Kasidy is perfect for you and it's time you made an honest woman of her."

"You do?" Benjamin grinned. He enjoyed his son's advice about women. It hadn't seemed that long ago when Benjamin had lectured Jake about dating dabo girls and now it seemed as if the tables were reversed. Benjamin wondered when the boy had grown up.

"I do," Jake answered without a bit of irony. "But tell me, are you really going to get married at Quark's?"

"Worf and Dax did."

"That was different," Jake dismissed that wedding with a wave of his hand. "I agree with the Colonel. You should get married on Bajor."

Sisko frowned at the mention of Bajor. Much as he loved Bajor and wanted to build a house there after retiring from Starfleet, he was disturbed by the turmoil on the planet. More and more Bajorans were advocating Starfleet's withdrawal from the area. Starfleet's departure would be a carte blanche for the Dominion and the Cardassians to waltz in and seize whatever they wanted, but a growing number of Bajorans didn't care.

Sisko didn't blame them; Bajor never had had an easy time of it and he could see why they would want their allies to depart. Whatever they achieved without the help of Starfleet or the Federation of Planets would be forever their own. It was a truth undeniable and a strong reason why groups like the White Rose were growing in popularity.

"Maybe at another time it would have been possible," Sisko said gently. "And no one regrets it more than I. It's just that I don't think it would be a good idea."

Jake sighed, "You think you wouldn't be safe?"

"I don't know. It seems like Bajor has been turned upside down. It's not the same place anymore, Jake. Even the new Kai seems to have a very loose rein on things now and that's not right. And Kira tells me that the Cult of the Pah'Wraiths is on the rise," Sisko said. He shook his head. "I do not believe the Emissary would be welcome on Bajor for his wedding."

"You don't believe that," Jake said in shock.

"I do because it's true," Sisko said gently. "Now, enough talk, Jake-o. We've got a wedding to attend."


"You really think he's going to do it?" Kira asked suspiciously. She glanced about that the simple decorations Benjamin and Kasidy had chosen for their wedding - white ribbons and purple lilacs. It was simple but elegant.

Dax, who had plopped herself into a chair next to Kira, shook her head, offering up a trademark, cryptic smile.

"He seems serious about it," she answered. "And I've known Benjamin for a long time. When he says he's going to do something about something, well, you know he's going to do it."

"But getting married?" Kira brushed a strand of auburn hair out of her face.

"They love each other," Dax answered simply. "And I've told you from the beginning, it was only a matter of time."

"Yes, but it's been years," Kira stated.

"I suppose you're not going to be convinced until Kasidy actually walks down that aisle and Father Mulcahy pronounces them man and wife."

"That would convince me," Kira said with a smile.

Quark's was starting to fill up with people now, all of them eager to see their captain get married. Dax twisted around anxiously.

"I wonder where Worf is," she said. "I don't want them to be late."

"Where did they go?"

"The holosuite. Worf discovered a pony program he thought Daria would like. He really is trying everything he can, Nerys, but sometimes it seems so hopeless," Dax shook her head.

Kira placed a hand on Dax's shoulder, "She will talk again, Jadzia. It is only a matter of time."

Dax nodded, but she wasn't convinced. It had been one month since Daria and the O'Briens' son, Yoshi, had been kidnapped by the White Rose. And since her return three weeks ago, Daria had not spoken at all. She cried, screamed and laughed, but did not speak.

As for Yoshi, he had been severely ill with transporter sickness and Bashir voiced the opinion that in time, Yoshi's body would recover and he would be well again.

But Kira knew that both sets of parents were terribly afraid that their children had been so traumatized by the incident that they would never recover emotionally.

Worf showed up then, with Daria in tow and the baby in his arms. Daria was dressed in a white dress with a wide pink ribbon going around her waist. Her thick brown hair had been curled and tied back with pink ribbons. She wore shiny black shoes and little white socks. Even Madison was dressed up in a little cream colored lace dress, decorated with little purple flowers.

"Hi Daru," Dax reached down to give her little girl a kiss. "Come here, sweetie. You look beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Doesn't she, Worf?"

Worf nodded as he bounced Madison slightly so she wouldn't cry. Daria stared at her mother, her wide eyes showing her pleasure at the compliment. Dax stood up and took Daria's hand.

"I see Keiko. Daria, let's go show Mrs. O'Brien your dress, okay?" Dax said. "Do you mind, Worf?"

"Not at all," Worf said. He took the seat next to Kira. Kira reached over and planted a kiss on Madison's head.

"Does she sleep through the night yet?" Kira asked.

"Sometimes," Worf answered. "Her teeth are coming in and it causes her great distress."

Madison, at that moment, open her mouth as if to show Kira her incoming teeth. Kira laughed.

"What a charmer! Let me have her," Kira said. "You know, Worf, I would love one of my own."

"You should tell that to Odo," Worf replied.

"I don't know," Kira bit her lip. "I don't know if this is the right time. You know? Maybe in a few years."

"Colonel," Worf said gently. "This war could last a lot longer than we think. How long do you want to wait?"

Kira nodded as she relished the feeling of a baby in her arms. Worf was right; time was of the essence and in this season of war, time was increasingly precious.

Bashir walked in with O'Brien and Yoshi. All three were dressed in suits, including Yoshi who looked absolutely adorable in his. He offered his favorite aunt a smile and Kira's heart warmed as she reached out to touch his cheek.

"You think it's going to happen?" Bashir asked.

"The Captain is a man of principle," Worf declared. "He would not go back on his word."

"Yeah, but after all these years?" O'Brien asked. "When I knew I was in love with Keiko, I didn't give her a chance to get away. It was very fast, less than a year, but I knew and that was that. Think about how long the Captain has been involved with Kasidy."

"Too long if you ask me," Quark put in.

"No one asked you," Kira said.

"Think, we could have done this a long time ago," Quark continued.

"No one was asking you, Quark," Bashir pointed out again. The Ferengi bartender smirked as he looked around.

"Isn't it beautiful?" he asked. "Silly hu-mons and their silly decorations. And imagine, clothing at a wedding! Women should not wear clothing when they get married."

"Tell that to Kasidy," O'Brien said.

"Maybe I will," Quark said as he flounced off. The others gazed after the colorful Ferengi.

"The scary thing is, he probably will tell Kasidy," Bashir sighed.


"Nervous?" Jothan Yates asked his daughter.

"Nervous doesn't begin to cover it," Kasidy Yates replied. She looked in the mirror, examining her reflection critically. She had chosen a white satin gown, off the shoulder and beaded with pearls at the edges. The skirt trailed about a foot after her, but wasn't terribly ostentatious. Kasidy had heard about wedding gowns which had weighed more than the bride and she, being practical, had chosen the simplest and most elegant gown in Garak's catalog.

Jothan sat on a chair watching Kasidy get ready.

"I'm glad you guys are finally getting married," Jothan said. "I had given up all hope."

"You and me both," Kasidy laughed hesitantly. "Is my veil crooked?"

"A bit," Jothan got up and helped Kasidy straighten the material. "Kasidy, you look beautiful, radiant. Everything a bride should look like on her wedding day. I am happy for you, Kasi. Benjamin is wonderful, everything I had hoped for in a son-in-law."

"Thanks," Kasidy laughed. "Dad, is it wrong for me to be this happy?"

"No," Jothan said softly. "No, it isn't."

"Because somehow it doesn't feel right."

"You mean marrying Benjamin doesn't feel right?"

"No, me feeling this wonderful at this moment doesn't feel right when I know there is some other woman out there who is suffering dreadfully. No, it doesn't seem right."

"Kasidy," Jothan said gently. "You have this day. This is your day and you are allowed. After all these years of war, you're allowed this day."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm positive. And you can't back out now because I've come all the way from Earth to see my only daughter married and I'm not going back on that crowded freighter without that. Is that clear, Kasidy?."

Kasidy laughed then, "Crystal clear, Dad. I do want to thank you for coming here on such short notice. It means so much to me that you could come."

"I want you and Ben to be happy, Kasidy," Jothan replied. "That's all I want for you, for all of you. And I think it's okay for you to feel this wonderful. For today and for the rest of your lives. There's nothing wrong with that. No matter what's going on around you, no one can take this moment or the other moments you're going to have away from you. It's okay to feel this wonderful. Your mother and I felt the same way on our wedding day and I'm so happy you can feel the same."

Kasidy smiled at her reflection in the mirror and took a deep breath.

"Then I'm ready," she announced. "I'm ready to get married."


Jake served as the best man and Yoshi was the ring bearer. Molly O'Brien led the procession, sprinkling flowers on the carpet as she walked forward very carefully and deliberately as her mother had taught her.

Behind Molly came Kasidy, her arm entwined with her father's. She squeezed his forearm gently as they made their way down the aisle. Kasidy looked up at her father and he smiled down at her, gently tapping her hand.

Sisko waited for her, Jake standing near him. As he watched his intended walking up the aisle, his heart filled with an intense love. He knew now that his future lay with Kasidy and that despite the turmoil around them, he had a place to come home to. He had Kasidy.

He hardly heard a word the priest said and he could barely remember slipping the ring on her finger. He remembered kissing her and the guests cheering.

Afterwards was the general reception and then a small party in his quarters for just the senior officers.

"Congratulations, Ben," Dax said to her old friend. "It's about time. I'm so happy for you."

Kira came next.

"I didn't know if you would actually do it, sir, but I'm glad that you did. Congratulations," she said.

O'Brien offered up a toast to the happy couple and then Bashir dropped the hint that maybe they should all leave.

"After all, the night is still young," Bashir said with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. He earned a punch in the shoulder from O'Brien and a grin from Dax.


Later that night, as Benjamin and Kasidy lay entwined in each other's arms, Kasidy spoke first.

"What do you think will happen now?" she asked.

"I could kiss you," Benjamin replied.

"No, I meant with this war, Deep Space Nine. What do you think will happen?"

"I honestly don't know," he replied. "And on my wedding night, I don't really care to speculate about such things."

"It worries me though. It worries me when you take the Defiant and go."

"I have to, Kas, it's my job. I wish it were different and I wish you didn't worry, but I can't change any of that."

"I know that, but I just want you to be careful, because remember, I'll be waiting for you."

He leaned over to kiss her, "You don't have to worry. I intend always to come home to you. I've waited all these years for someone like you and I have no intention of letting the Cardassians or Dominion interfere."

"I'll still worry."

Sisko laughed then, "Maybe you can come with me then on some missions."

"You don't like me coming on missions with you. You made that very clear when we went after that captain. You didn't like me on the ship then."

"That was different."

"Was it? What has changed?"

Sisko sighed. Kasidy had a point. Nothing really had changed between them except that they had made this enormous commitment to spending their future together.

"Nothing," he said softly. "I just want you with me all the time."

Kasidy smiled into the darkness, "And you promise to be nice about it?"

"I promise."

"Then it's a deal," she said. "Where you go, I go too."

"It's a deal."

And they slept, her hand clasped in his.

~The End~

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