Note from the authors: If you made it this far, you know this isn't our best attempt. In fact, it's probably at the bottom of the barrel. Be prepared to be absolutely stunned in this section. At the time, it made sense. Sort of. Take this as a lesson as what not to do in fanfc.
It was a beautiful day in the holosuite, Worf thought with a grin as he helped Jadzia walk along the stream. Ahead of them, Daria skipped along happily, blissfully unaware of the turmoil that had been wreaked so recently in their lives.
"What are you thinking?" Jadzia asked softly.
"I’m thinking that I am happy to be here with you and Daria," Worf answered. "I am glad you are getting well again."
"Thank you for this," Jadzia answered. "You were wonderful to have planned this all. Daru is so happy."
Worf wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist, "Next time, Jadzia, when we have a child, please, discuss it with me first?"
Jadzia nodded, "That was wrong, I am sorry. But at the time, I felt I had no choice."
"I understand that. But we are married and our decisions should be made together. We decided together to have Daria and we should have decided together about this child."
"But you wouldn’t have agreed."
"No, I would not have."
"But look at this way," Jadzia said with a grin. "I’m now well on the road to recovery and we can have as many children as we want."
At that moment, there was a splash in the water.
"Daria!" Jadzia screamed as Worf took off running. A few seconds later, he retrieved the child who had fallen into the stream.
"Daria," Jadzia said, moving as fast as she could to meet husband and child.
Daria was laughing, obviously unaware of the concern she had caused her parents. Jadzia met Worf’s eye.
"Well," she said, patting her stomach. "Maybe just one more."
Worf nodded. He put Daria down and she immediately grasped her mother’s hand while Worf took the other small hand in his larger one.
"This time," Worf said quietly. "We go together."
Daria, however, was too impatient and broke free of her parents’ hands and continued to run ahead. Jadzia shook her head.
"I don’t know where she gets her energy from," Jadzia said.
"I was very energetic as a child," Worf said as Jadzia hooked her arm in his.
"You know, Worf, I hope we get more moments like this together," Jadzia told him. "I am sorry it took someone like Artesia to make me understand what we have together. And I’m sorry that I doubted you and that I was so horrible to you."
Worf smiled down at her gently, "I understand and Jadzia, there were moments, when I myself was unsure. When Bashir said that child was mine, I was truly afraid that maybe I had consumed too much bloodwine and had done something I could not remember."
"Mommy! Daddy! Look at me!"
Jadzia and Worf looked at each other.
"Well," Jadzia said. "Maybe later, when the baby is sleeping, we can talk some more."
"I would like that."
They kissed and then went to join their daughter.
~ FOUR MONTHS LATER ~
Sisko surveyed Ops, well-satisfied with his crew. Everything, for once, was working at optimum performance and lately, much to his relief, there had been no unwelcome visits from the insidious Kai Winn.
He stopped by the science station, to chat with a heavily pregnant Dax. The baby wasn’t due for almost three more months, but that hadn’t stopped Dax and Worf from arguing about everything from where the new baby would sleep to the baby’s name.
"How do you feel, Old Man?" Sisko asked. He felt funny calling Dax an "Old Man" pregnant as she was.
"Better. The little one is kicking," she grinned ruefully. "Hard."
Kira leaned over with interest, "Have you come up with a name yet?"
Dax shook her head, "Worf and I can’t agree on anything. Daria was easy; we named her after his aunt because she had been very good to him. Besides, I liked the meaning of the name."
"Which is?" Kira asked in interest.
"Prosperous," Worf said from the turbolift. "It seemed like an auspicious name for a first child."
"And now?" Kira asked.
"Depends if it’s a boy or a girl," Dax answered.
"You don’t know?"
Worf shook his head, "We thought it best not to know. It does not matter to us, we just want a healthy child. And no child could replace Alexander."
Sisko nodded, "Of course not. I understand."
"So, what have you decided on the names?" Kira pressed.
"Well-" Dax began, but was interrupted by an incoming transmission. "Worf, it’s General Martok. He wants to talk to you."
Worf nodded at Dax, "On screen."
Martok’s face filled the viewscreen. None of the Deep Space Nine crew had seen the general since the truth about his affair with Artesia had come out. Stripped of his house, Martok had (at last report) had been wandering the galaxy with Artesia. In a way, Worf felt very sorry for his former mentor.
"Worf!" Martok’s voice boomed across Ops. Dax shivered; she did not like the look in Martok’s eyes.
"General," Worf said cordially, recognizing the fact that Martok had not been divested of his rank in the Klingon forces.
"Permission to come aboard," Martok said. Worf looked at Sisko. Sisko nodded.
"Permission granted," Worf said.
Martok sneered and glared at Worf, "I have come for my honor, Worf. I have come for the k’aha’ler ritual."
"What?" Dax exclaimed, turning to Worf in shock. But Martok had already signed off and a second later, Odo reported that Martok had beamed aboard.
"What is he talking about?" Sisko demanded.
Worf took a deep breath, "He is challenging me for command of his house. The winner will lead the house."
"And the loser?" Sisko asked.
"Will be dead," Dax finished.
Dax watched her husband swing his bat'leth at the holographic Klingon. She wished that she could fight with him, but until their child was born, she and Worf had decided it would be better if she just watched.
He looked over at her while blocking a blow from the hologram.
"We could call the baby Julian if it's a boy or Julia if it's a girl, after all, Julian has done so much for us."
"Computer, freeze program." He walked away from the frozen Klingon and looked his wife over. He stopped in front of her and placed a hand on her abdomen; the baby was kicking. "Doctor Bashir has done a lot for us but I do not think that it would be fair to our other friends, they have done much for us as well."
"I think they would understand."
"I still do not think we should name this child after anyone as we did Daria. At least not anyone on the station. Perhaps in time you will yet remember that aunt Emony loved so much."
Dax smiled and leaned against her husband. Then the holosuite door slid open and Martok walked through with Artesia trailing behind.
"Worf, are you prepared to fight me?" The older Klingon grinned meanly and turned the bat'leth he was holding around in his hands.
"Hello, Dax," said Artesia menacingly. "Prepared to watch your husband die at the hands of Martok?"
Dax was going to respond when her comm badge chirped.
"Dax here," she said slapping it a little too hard, it fell off her uniform and landed at Artesia's feet.
"Old Man, sorry to disturb you. We've just intercepted a message from the Founders. It seems they are planning another attack on New Bajor. Could you meet us in the Defiant in twenty minutes? I'd like you to pilot it."
Dax knelt down and picked up the badge.
"I'll be there, Benjamin. Dax out."
She shut the channel with a tap and placed the badge back on her uniform.
"Worf, I've got to go."
She was scared and apologetic at the same time.
"Jadzia, do not worry, I promise you that we will not start fighting until you return safely to the station on the Defiant."
Dax smiled and hugged Worf.
"Now you must go, be careful, my love," she said.
"You as well, Par'machkai."
Dax walked out of the holosuite, ignoring that fact that Martok and Artesia had been glaring at her the entire time. She walked through Quark's bar, which was unusually quiet for the time of day and said hello to Morn. She hurried through the Promenade and caught up with Bashir who appeared to be heading towards the turbolift also.
He turned in her direction and smiled.
"Hello Jadzia, on your way to the Defiant?"
She nodded as they stepped into the turbolift.
"Yeah, Benjamin asked me to pilot her," she said, "Computer, outer docking ring section three. It’s been forever since I’ve been at helm, certainly not since I got pregnant. I hope I still remember how to fly!"
The turbolift started jerkily nearly knocking both occupants over.
"Well," Dax said tightly holding onto the railing in case the turbolift jerked
again. "That was pleasant."
"We'll have to tell the Chief about that, I know he's been meaning to fix the turbolifts for quite a while now."
"Ever since we got here." Dax said with a smile. They both laughed. They stood in silence until the turbolift stopped, which was much smoother ride than the start.
"How have you been feeling, Jadzia?" Bashir finally broke the silence as they walked toward the airlock where the Defiant was docked.
"A little tired," she said truthfully, "That's to be expected though. Otherwise I feel fine." Julian nodded.
"I'm really glad that the treatment worked."
They were silent the rest of the way to the Defiant.
Dax kept thinking about Worf. She knew he had promised her that he wouldn't fight Martok until she returned but Martok could be a forceful man if he wanted to be and that worried her. She heard Sisko call out an order to her and she quickly complied by pressing a few buttons.
She looked up to the view screen for a second, no matter how many times she went through the wormhole, it always impressed her and sent a shiver of excitement down her spine. The way the wormhole blossomed reminded her of a flower, but she never really thought of it as a celestial temple. Dax looked out the screen at the rippling sides of the wormhole and frowned slightly as they neared the end of the wormhole.
"Entering the Gamma Quadrant in 5...4...3...2...1."
The Defiant flew out the wormhole gracefully and on toward New Bajor.
"How's the baby, Old Man?" Sisko suddenly asked; it seemed like a strange question, but Dax knew that her baby was everyone’s favorite subject these days. Dax didn't turn around to answer him as she knew he could hear her fine.
"It's fine, it's sleeping right now," Dax patted her stomach fondly.
"Have you decided on a name yet?"
"No, so far Worf and I have each made a list of names we like but we haven't found anything we agree on yet."
"Keiko and I didn't name Molly until after she was born. We had been expecting a boy so it was a bit of a surprise when Molly popped out!" O’Brein commented from his station.
Dax smiled at the chief before turning back to her console.
"Benjamin, we're nearing New Bajor, there's no signs of any Dominion ships."
"Hmm, are there any signs of a cloaked ship?"
"Stop the ship, Dax, let's wait here for a while," Sisko ordered quietly.
"Aye, sir," Dax smiled to herself. She was glad for the delay as the sooner she got back the sooner Worf and Martok would fight.
~ TWO DAYS LATER ~
Dax walked onto the bridge and nodded at Captain Sisko, he nodded back at her and she sat down at the helm. The first thing she did was check the sensors, surprisingly
there was something, and it was closing fast.
"We've got company, Ben!" she called loudly. The captain stood and walked over to her console as though he had to see the little blip the sensors had found.
"We've got three Jem'Hadar fighters heading our way - and their phasers are fully-powered!"
"Shields up!" Sisko barked and he went back to his chair. "Dax, open a channel. This Captain Benjamin Sisko of the United Federation of Planets, Jem'Hadar ships please
power down your weapons or I will be forced to take action."
"No response," Dax announced just before one of the ships sent out a volley of torpedoes.
"There's your response, Commander!" O'Brien shouted.
"Evasive maneuvers!" Sisko ordered and Dax swerved the ship to the left to avoid the torpedoes. They were still turning when Dax took one hand off the console and put it on her stomach.
"Oh!" she gasped.
O’Brien turned to look at Dax, "Everything all right, Commander?"
"Benjamin, get someone over here, my water just broke!" Dax exclaimed.
Sisko stared at Dax for a few seconds before running to her side. He helped her up and an ensign took her place.
"Chief, beam Dax to the infirmary!" Sisko tapped his badge. "Sisko to Bashir, Dax is being beamed in, the baby's coming!"
"Acknowledged!" came the reply and Dax disappeared in a shimmer of lights.
Captain Sisko walked into the infirmary and looked around, Bashir was standing next to a bed holding what he assumed was Dax's child in his arms.
Bashir turned around and pressed his finger to his lips.
"Shh, they're sleeping," the doctor whispered.
Sisko looked down at Dax; she had a tired smile across her lips and her spots were slightly faded, a sign of just how tired she really was. Then he looked to the baby; its skin was dark but a trail of darker spots ran along the sides of its head.
"She's fine, and so is the baby. Thanks to her Klingon father, she's completely healthy despite the fact she came out a bit early."
Bashir handed Sisko the child.
"What's her name?" the captain asked as he rocked the new arrival gently.
"Jadzia wanted to wait until we got back to the station to name her. She wants Worf to agree on the name before she calls her anything."
Sisko rolled his eyes.
"We may as well call this kid no-name, they'll never be able to decide on a name!"
Worf was waiting nervously in the infirmary for Bashir and Dax to be beamed in.
He had been in Ops when the Defiant had returned and that's when Captain Sisko had hailed him to tell him that Dax had the baby. Finally, the sound of the transporter filled the room and Dax and Bashir materialized. Dax was holding his baby in her arms; it was very tiny.
Worf crossed over to them and took them both into his arms.
"Do you want to hold her?" Dax asked after a minute. Worf nodded wordlessly and took the little baby into his hands.
"So, what do you think we should name her?" Dax asked.
"I do not know. What do you want to call her?"
"If you don't mind," Doctor Bashir said, "I have a suggestion."
They looked at him and waited.
"I think you should name the baby Madison, it's old English for 'child of the brave warrior'."
Dax and Worf looked at each.
It's perfect!" Dax exclaimed and Worf nodded.
"We shall call the baby Madison."
Then a worried expression crossed Jadzia’s face.
"Worf! I just remembered the name of the Emony's aunt! It was Anara! Oh, but we've already named her!" Dax frowned.
"Anara will be her middle name," Worf smiled at his wife and she brightened immediately. He handed her back the baby.
"Daddy!" Worf and Dax looked over near the entrance to the infirmary and saw
Daria running their way with the O'Brien children hot in pursuit. Worf scooped his older child up in his arms so that she could see Madison.
"Daria, this is your little sister Madison."
"She's so tiny!" Daria said with amazement.
"Jadzia, Worf, congratulations!" Keiko O’Brien exclaimed.
Dax and Worf hadn't seen the O'Briens walk in after their children so they looked up in surprise. Worf set Daria down on the floor where Bashir picked her up so that she would be able to continue to watch her sister.
O'Brien held out his hand and Worf took it in a handshake.
"Jadzia, she's beautiful!" Keiko said with a smile. Then from the side of her eye, Dax saw Sisko and Kira walking in. She turned to them and smiled widely.
"Dax!" Sisko called, "You have the worst timing I have ever seen in my life!"
Jadzia laughed and rocked Madison slowly.
"Out of all the places in the universe and all the times in the universe you just had to have your baby in the middle of a battle!"
"I suppose we could have Julian put her back in and I could go have her somewhere else?" Dax suggested with a smile.
Sisko nodded approvingly and rolled his eyes.
Everyone turned and saw Martok standing in the doorway of the infirmary with a bat'leth in his hands and Artesia by his side. "It is time for us to fight! Or have you forgotten your promise, Coward?"
"I have not forgotten my promise to you, Martok. I am ready to fight you now."
"Worf..." Dax began tremulously, her hand on Worf’s sleeve.
Worf looked back at Dax.
"Be careful, remember, you have two daughters and a wife who need you," she said softly.
"How could I forget?" he asked with a warm smile.
"Enough stalling!" Martok shouted and he began twisting his bat'leth as though he was going to start fighting right in the infirmary. "We'll fight now! Here!"
Bashir set Daria on the ground and she hid behind her Aunt Nerys.
"Now wait just a minute! You can't barge into my infirmary and - hey!"
Martok pushed Bashir out the way and into a nearby wall. Bashir looked at Martok, whom he had always admired in the past, with disgust.
"Stand aside puny human, this fight does not concern you!" he stepped toward Worf and twisted his bat'leth menacingly. "Come on, Worf, defend yourself!"
"With what? I have no weapon!"
"Then use your hands! Now fight!" Martok swung at Worf who ducked out of the way and kicked him in the shin.
"Sisko to Odo, I need you and a security team in the infirmary now!" Sisko cried as he slammed his hand down on his comm. badge.
"On our way!" Odo replied quickly and everyone watched as the Klingons fought.
Dax held Madison tightly against her chest and Daria hugged Kira's legs while Kira tried desperately to counsel the frightened child. The O’Briens quickly ushered their children out of the infirmary and Dax knew she should do the same, but she was unable to bring herself to leave.
Worf pulled a piece of a diagnostic table off one of the bio beds and used it as a shield toward Martok's blows. He pushed against the blows and pushed Martok closer and closer to a corner in the infirmary. Suddenly, Martok managed to knock the piece of the bio bed out of Worf's hands. The older Klingon lunged toward him and Worf caught the bat'leth with his left hand. It sank deep into the skin and blood was dripping from the wound when Daria screamed.
"Daddy!" she ran out from behind Kira's legs in front of her father.
"Daria! No!" Dax shouted but the child was already in front of Worf.
"Grandpa, stop it! Stop it!"
Martok smiled at the child almost too sweetly.
"Move, child," he ordered.
"No!" she told him and hugged her daddy's legs. Kira came over and tried to remove Daria from Worf but was unsuccessful.
"Nobody's gonna hurt my daddy!" little Daria exclaimed determinedly. Martok stared at her for a moment and lowered his bat'leth.
"Worf," he declared. "You have won. I cannot bring myself to strike this child in order to kill you. Kill me now."
Martok handed him the bat'leth. Worf shook his head.
"Martok, I used to look upon as a father, even after you betrayed me, I cannot find it in myself to kill you. Now leave! If I ever see you on this station again, you may not be so lucky!" Worf roared. Martok nodded and turned to go but stopped for some reason. He turned back to Worf and held out a hand, like he was going to follow the old human tradition of shaking hands. Worf reached out to take the hand but Martok moved it quickly and withdrew a knife from his belt buckle. He tried to stab Worf but Worf moved too fast and Martok only managed to take the skin off of his shoulder.
"Stop where you are!" Odo's voice rang out across the infirmary. "Martok, set down your weapon and prepare to be taken prisoner!"
The old Klingon looked around; he was surrounded, he had no chance, and he knew it. Martok dropped his knife and put his hands in the air.
"This is not honorable," Martok muttered so that only Worf could hear him. "You should have killed me when you had the chance."
"No!" Artesia suddenly cried. She pulled a Klingon phaser out from one of the pockets in her dress and aimed it at Dax. "Martok! You deserve the right to rule your house, pick up the knife and fight!"
Everyone stared at her.
"Fight! Fight or I will kill Dax!" Half the security team reaimed their own phasers at her as Dax handed Sisko the baby.
"Artesia," Dax said calmly. "Don't do this. You and Martok can walk away from this right n-"
"Shut up! Martok will have his name and his honor restored! Fight!"
While she was talking to Dax. the Klingon did not notice Odo mouthing the words to shoot on his mark.
"Now!" Odo shouted. It only took a few seconds for Artesia to realize what was happening and she pressed the trigger on her phaser sending a beam toward Dax as four beams flew towards her. The beams struck and she crumpled to the ground as Dax fell over on her bio bed.
"Jadzia!" Worf wanted to run to her side but he would knock Daria over as she was still clinging to his legs. By now, she was crying so she had had her face turned away when Artesia shot her mother. Bashir was at Dax's side though, and he didn't seem too worried that relieved Worf somewhat.
"Artesia was bluffing," Bashir announced, "The phaser was only set on heavy stun. Dax will be out for an hour or two but nothing more."
Everyone smiled and watched as Odo led Artesia and Martok out of the infirmary. Then Madison let out a piercing wail.
"Someone needs a new diaper." Sisko said wrinkling his nose. He held the baby out in Worf's direction. Worf looked at his injured hand and then to Daria; she was still crying, Sisko immediately understood that Worf had more important things to do right now then change a diaper.
Sisko turned to Major Kira. "Major, please change this baby's diaper."
"That's an order, Major!" Sisko quickly turned and walked away.
"This isn't in my job description!" she shouted after him.
~ONE WEEK LATER~
"I can't believe you decided not to press charges, Old Man," Sisko said and he took a sip of his raktajino. Dax shrugged and smiled down at her baby.
"I have a lot more to be grateful for because of Artesia, so even after all the pain she's caused Worf, Daria, and I, it all turned out for the best. So there's no reason I should press any of the charges against her."
"I suppose," he tossed a PADD at her; it landed next to her and bounced a little on the couch. "This is the latest report on the wormhole that you asked me to bring you. It was done by Lieutenant Miller; she's new to the station, do you know her?"
"Yes, I had lunch with her the first day she arrived. She seems like a very pleasant person. By the way, Ben, I've been meaning to ask you, do you know why the Dominion called us out and attacked us?"
Sisko's smile turned to a serious frown.
Yes, Dax," he said, "They wanted to let us know that the war isn't over."
Dax shivered involuntarily and suddenly felt very cold. From behind she heard the door slide open and Daria ran in with Worf following.
"Captain," Worf said respectfully, then he bent down and kissed Dax on the cheek. "Jadzia, how are you feeling?"
She returned the kiss and suddenly felt warm again.
"I'm feeling fine. How was your day?"
"It was uneventful. How is Madison?"
"Maddie's doing fine, she's turning out to be just as much of a squealer as her sister." Worf rolled his eyes and Daria ran around the couch to where Dax was sitting. She climbed onto the couch next to her mother and looked at Madison who yawned at her older sister.
"Maddie's tired, Mommy," Daria said helpfully. "You should put her in her crib."
Dax smiled at her, Daria was fiercely protective of her little sister and loved her dearly although it had only been a week since she was born.
"Good idea, Daru, I'll put her to bed right after Ben - I mean Captain Sisko leaves," Dax promised.
"Actually Dax, I have to be going now."
"Bye, thanks for visiting me. I'll be in Ops tomorrow at 0800 sharp!"
Sisko nodded and walked out the door with a nod to Worf and a wave to Daria. Dax got up slowly and walked into their bedroom so she could put Madison down to bed. Daria followed closely watching what her mother did each step of the way.
"Mommy," Daria started after they had finished with Madison. "I'm going to go get ready for dinner."
Dax nodded and watched as daughter ran off. She walked back out into the living room where Worf was still standing behind the couch.
She went to him and embraced him tightly. It was times like this, when she and Worf were loving each other, that she could forget all about the Dominion and their infernal war.
"So, is it over now?" Dax asked softly. "Or do you have any other duels or angry women coming our way?"
Worf smoothed her hair back from her face, "I think it’s over."
"Well, then," Dax said. "What would like the leader of the House of Worf like for dinner?"
"Ugh," Dax moaned as her alarm went off. She opened one eye and then said, "Computer, time."
"It is 0700 hours."
Dax burrowed under the covers again and then remembering her promise to Benjamin to be in Ops at 0800, she sat up and reluctantly got out of bed.
Worf was already up and was eating breakfast with Daria.
"Good morning," Dax said, dropping a kiss first on Daria’s head and kissing Worf’s cheek.
"Good morning to you," Worf answered.
"Is the baby awake?"
"Good," Dax fell into her seat. "Thank you for getting up with her last night. Maybe she’ll be good and sleep through the night from now on."
"She’s a week old, Jadzia," Worf said. "I think you are being optimistic. Daria did not sleep through the night for almost a year."
"Don’t remind me. Why did we have a second child again?"
"It was your idea," Worf said with a smile. "Now, what can I get you for breakfast?"
After breakfast, Dax got Daria dressed and then she changed into her uniform. By this time, Madison was very much awake and screaming.
"My goodness," Jadzia said, taking the squalling baby from Worf. "Listen to you, Maddie. You must be hungry."
Worf took Daria to daycare and promised to return in a few moments. Jadzia settled herself on the sofa to feed Maddie. When Worf returned, Maddie was almost finished eating.
"What are you thinking about?" Jadzia asked softly, shifting slightly in order to make room for Worf. He sat down next to her and put his arm around her shoulder. Jadzia leaned into him.
"I’m thinking about Martok and Artesia," Worf admitted. "They have been banned from the Klingon homeworld. Gowron has dishonored both of them."
"They deserve it," Dax answered. "Look what they did to us in the last year."
Dax fell silent, knowing that Worf would take his own time to come to grips with what had happened in the last year. Maddie turned her face away and Jadzia smiled down at her new baby.
"Done already?" she asked. She handed the baby to Worf and then zipped her jacket back up.
"I promised Benjamin I would be in at 0800," Dax said ruefully. "I’m already an hour late."
"Go," Worf said. "I will take care of Madison until you return."
On her way to Ops, Dax bumped into Bashir.
"Hi," Dax said.
"Hi. You look exhausted."
"I forgot how tiring a new baby could be. And I certainly didn’t remember how tiring two children could be."
They walked in silence for a few moments and then Dax said, "We’re thinking about taking a trip to Earth. The Rochenkos would like to see Worf. They miss Alexander and I think Worf’s presence would be a great comfort to them."
"Sounds good. You’ve never been, have you?"
They entered the turbolift.
"Ops," Dax said. "In fact, I haven’t really been to Earth since graduating from Starfleet Academy. It should be fun and I think it’s time Daria got to know Worf’s parents. Maybe we can even meet up with Worf’s aunt, the one we named Daria after."
"Sounds good to me."
"And I think it’ll be good for Worf. This whole thing with Martok and Artesia has been very hard for him to accept."
"I have to admit, we didn’t treat him well either," Bashir said. "We immediately suspected the worst from Worf, didn’t we?"
"He’s forgiven you, don’t worry. In fact, we considered naming the baby after you."
"Yes," Dax smiled.
"Really," Dax stepped off the turbolift. She took a long look around Ops. "It’s good to be back."
She made her way to her usual station and took her seat. Sisko approached her.
"Old Man," Sisko said. "You’re late."
"I know," Dax shook her head. "Sorry about that. It was a crazy morning."
Bashir approached Dax, "So why did you change your mind?"
"Change my mind?" Dax asked.
"About naming the baby after me."
"Well, if you hadn’t suggested Madison, the baby could very well have been a Julia," Dax answered.
Bashir cocked his
head to the side, "I should have just kept my mouth shut."
From his station, O’Brien piped up, "I’ve been telling you that for years."
And everyone, including
Bashir, laughed heartily.
~ THREE MONTHS LATER ~
Dax crossed the wide expanse of grass, her soft leather shoes making no sound in the dewy field. However, most uncomfortably, she could feel the moisture making its way into her shoes.
She found Worf sitting on a rock, overlooking the valley; a dense fog clouded most of the view, but the hazy outlines of green hills could be seen through the thin patches.
Dax put her hands on his shoulders and he nearly jumped at her touch.
"You scared me," he admitted with a frankness that surprised Dax.
"I was wondering what you were doing out here. You parents are waiting on you for dinner," Dax said. She turned slightly to see the distant lights of the Rochenkos’ house. The simple, wood-frame house stood alone against a backdrop of trees.
It was truly beautiful here, Dax thought.
"We should have done this long ago," Dax commented as Worf moved over to make room for her on his rock. "Daru loves it here. I think the station is too confining for the children. They need to be able to run and play. You must have loved it here as a child."
Worf nodded, "I did. This was my rock, I loved to come sit here and watch everything in the valley. It is so peaceful. When I brought Alexander here, I showed him this place."
"And it was special to him too?" Dax asked.
"Very much. I would sometimes look out the window and see him sitting here and I would think, we were alike in more ways than we could possibly fathom," Worf sighed.
Dax said nothing, knowing how much Worf missed Alexander. While Dax knew what it felt like to lose a child, Jadzia had no idea of how much it truly hurt and she was only grateful that both of her children were healthy and well. She touched Worf’s cheek lovingly and he turned his face into her palm, kissing it.
"I’ve decided to surrender my right to Martok’s house to Martok’s son," Worf said suddenly.
"What?" Dax could hardly believe her ears. "After all that we’ve been through in last twelve months? Worf!"
"Listen," Worf held up his hand. "I do not know what happened to Martok; he had been an honorable general and was like a father to me. He changed and I do not why. The Klingon High Council has discommended him and his family. Martok has been exiled from the homeworld for his actions."
"Well, why not? He nearly destroyed us, Worf. He tried to kill us. Have you forgotten all these things?"
"It was your idea not to press charges," Worf reminded her.
"Because I was grateful for everything that came out of it, my health, Maddie. And I have respect for Martok, I could not do that to him."
"Well, I cannot either," Worf said stubbornly and Jadzia knew there was no way to change his mind. "I cannot lead the house."
"It would have happened anyway," Dax said dully. "As you have no son."
Worf stared at her in amazement, "Jadzia…"
She held up her hand, "I know you wanted a son, Worf. I am sorry. We could try again."
"No," he said. "No, as long as I have you, it does not matter to me. I love our children, Jadzia, but without you, I am nothing. Nothing matters to me, not the house, not the children, not Q’Onos, Starfleet, nothing, if I don’t have you. Everything else is a blessing."
"Do you mean that?"
"With all my heart."
Worf wrapped his arm around Jadzia, holding her tight. For a moment, they could both hear their hearts beating.
"Come," Jadzia said finally. "We should go in. Let’s not keep them waiting any longer."
Worf considered for a moment.
"You go," he said. "I will be in shortly. I would like to spend some more time with Alexander."
"I understand," Jadzia said. She took his face in her hands and kissed him. "I love you."
"I love you too."
Dax started back to the house and when she had almost reached the door, she turned back to look at the silhouette of her husband, a black shadow against the fading sun. Smiling to herself, she entered the house, embracing the warmth of family.
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