I've always wondered why Dax never spoke of her home or family except a couple mentions of a sister and a brief mention of a mother (Thanks to the DS9 Encyclopedia ) for Dax's very sketchy family background). So here's my take on what I think happened between Dax and her family. I've been delibrately vague in some parts, because as with any family scandal or conflict, most people don't want to talk too much about it or revist the past.
Disclaimer: Characters & places belong to Paramount. Aria and Kaela belong to me.
Homecoming takes place just after "Change of Heart." Enjoy!
Note: Written sometime in 1998, prior to the events in "Lives of
Dax". Reformatted 12/29/2000.
Dax took one look around her quarters, hoping she hadn’t forgotten anything. True, she was only going away for a week and she could replicate anything she wanted, but it was the principle of the matter. Worf emerged from the bedroom, her pack over his shoulder.
“I’m just double checking,” she said in response to his quizzical expression.
“I want to make sure I don’t forget anything.”
“I do not think that you did.”
Dax smiled at him. This trip would be the first time they had been separated since they had been married, and she knew that she would miss him every minute of the week they would be apart.
“Now,” she said, as they headed towards the door. “I don’t want you to spend all your time in the holosuites. If you get bored, maybe you could join Miles and Julian for a game of darts.”
“I do not play games.”
“So you say,” Dax said, linking her arm through his. “But it might be fun, don’t you think?”
Worf didn’t answer; he had little use for games, except for poker. He had been introduced to poker on the Enterprise and he enjoyed that game greatly, since it was a game of skill. Darts, on the other hand, with a genetically engineered doctor did not appeal to him, especially since it seemed that the doctor might have an unfair advantage.
“But try not to stay in while I’m gone,” Dax said.
“I will be fine without you, Jadzia.”
Worf realized how cold his words must have sounded so he quickly said, “I did not mean that I would not miss you. Of course, I will miss you.”
Dax squeezed his arm thoughtfully, “I know what you meant. I wish you were coming with me; I could really use the support but Sisko needs you more on the station and I can’t be selfish now. It’s only for a week. It’ll fly by, faster than you or I think.”
“You must concentrate on getting well,” Worf said with concern. He stopped walking abruptly and turned Dax so that she faced him. “You must promise me that you will rest when you arrive on Trill.”
“I have no plans to exert myself,” she answered.
They resumed walking to the docking bay. Sisko had approved the use of the Rubicon for Dax’s trip back home and for that, Dax was grateful. The Rubicon was her favorite runabout, especially after her recent adventures with Bashir and O’Brien when the trio had been shrunk in order to investigate a space anomaly. Thinking of that mission now brought a smile to Dax’s face. Seeing the Rubicon now though, brought her back to the present.
“You promise you won’t spend all your time in the holosuites? “ she asked anxiously.
“It will be fine,” Worf said, more for his benefit than for hers. He hugged her and then handed her her bag. “You will let me know when you arrive?”
“Of course,” Dax set off for the runabout. She turned around briefly and blew him a kiss. “It will be good to go home, won’t it?”
Worf nodded, but once he saw Dax safely inside the runabout, he hoped that this visit home would prove to be all Dax hoped.
Home. She hadn’t been home in years. Not since the incident when she discovered that the Symbiont Commission had lied to her, that there had been a previous host named Joran. But even then Dax had not taken the time to visit her family.
Eight years, she mused. Eight years since she had been home. And now she was returning under slightly less than auspicious circumstances. Just two weeks before, she and Worf had been sent on a mission to rescue a Cardassian operative in the Badlands, but the mission was jeopardized when Jadzia had been seriously wounded. Despite her insistence that Worf continue the mission, he had turned his back on the Cardassian spy and instead had brought Dax home.
Julian had said that Dax would make a full recovery, but she was still feeling weak and Worf had suggested that maybe some time away from her duties on the station would help her regain strength. Dr. Bashir had agreed full-heartedly and since Worf could not accompany her, Sisko suggested that Dax go home.
“It’s been years, Old Man,” Benjamin had said. “Don’t you think you should at least visit your mother and your sister?”
Jadzia had always been loyal, despite her sometimes frivolous nature, but when it came to her family, she had been less than open. She rarely spoke of her mother or her sister except to Worf and even with him, she kept the details to a minimum.
It was Worf who had finally persuaded her to go.
“Isn’t time to face what happened?” he had asked her two nights before. “How long will you remain angry at your mother? And what about your sister? Don't you have something you should say to her?”
“I don’t know,” she had admitted honestly.
“It’s harder to stay angry than to forgive, Jadzia. And I know the guilt is eating away at you. You must go now before it's too late.”
And with those words ringing in her ears, Dax had agreed to go home.
She beamed down to the surface and immediately felt at home. She turned and surveyed her surroundings, immediately taking in the cobble-stoned courtyard and the green leafy vegetation forming a cool canopy overhead. She could hear the water fountain bubbling in the distance and she followed the sound almost instinctively. As a small child, Jadzia and her sister, Aria, had often played in the cool waters of the fountain.
Approaching it now, Jadzia placed her pack on the side and sat on the edge, letting her fingers trail in the water.
Jadzia stood up, “Hello, Aria.”
The years had not changed her older sister. In fact, as Jadzia searched Aria’s face for some sign of the eight years in between, she could find nothing. No gray marked that luxurious mane of mahogany colored hair and no crow’s feet marred those clear eyes.
“You came home,” Aria said, “I didn’t know that you would.”
“I told you that I was coming.”
“Yes, but I didn’t think you would actually come.”
Jadzia took a deep breath, trying to find a way to break the tension. She loved Aria still, but the hurt lingering between them was still very fresh, even after eight years.
“I’m married now,” Jadzia said, saying the first thing that came to her mind.
“I know. To the Klingon.”
“I tried to my best to find out what you were up to, Jadzia. You may think we did not care, but we did. It was hard not to know what you were doing and hurtful that you would not even invite us to your own wedding.”
“I meant to,” Jadzia said slowly. “But it happened so suddenly. I’m sorry, Aria, there really was no excuse.”
“Come,” Aria said. “Let me take your bag and let’s go meet Mother. She will be pleased that you came home. Like me, she doubted.”
“I wasn’t sure that I would be welcome.”
“You are always welcome, Jadzia. Always. Never doubt that.”
“I think I knew that. But it was my husband who persuaded me to come.”
“It would have been better if you had come on your own. Come, let’s go inside.”
The house was exactly how Jadzia remembered it; cool and dark. Like all Trill dwellings, the house was a rectangular shape with a flat ceiling. The walls were a heavy mud and mortar concoction that kept the both summer heat and the winter cold out. Jadzia pressed her hand against the wall as she and Aria made their way to the back of the house, where Jadzia’s childhood room was. As she stood in the doorway, Jadzia could remember lying in bed, staring up at the stars, dreaming of one day being joined. No one in her family had ever been joined before and Jadzia was determined to become the first.
Aria placed the pack in the closet.
“I suppose you might want to get settled,” Aria said. “Or you can come meet Mother.”
Duty tugged at Jadzia and she nodded.
“Let’s go see Mother,” Jadzia said.
Kaela was in her rocker, facing the window. She had been sitting in the rocker the day Jadzia had left for good. Jadzia never knew what her mother was looking at, as the view only afforded a look at the house next door. Yet, Kaela’s gaze never shifted from that window. Jadzia could only wonder at the ghosts which clouded her mother’s once clear eyes and hope that somehow, Kaela had found peace.
“Mother,” Aria said. “Mother, Jadzia is here. She has come home.”
“Jadzia? Who is Jadzia?”
“It’s me, Mother,” Jadzia stepped forward and suddenly, feeling like the little girl she had once been, she knelt by her mother, staring up into that once beautiful face. “Don’t you remember me?”
“I had a daughter once named Jadzia,” Kaela continued in that strange voice. “Did you know her?”
“It’s me, Mother. It’s Jadzia. I’ve come home and I’m so sorry I stayed away
for so long. I’m so sorry.”
“She says she’s sorry,” Kaela said with wonderment. “Do I know you, child?”
Jadzia sighed and got to her feet. She bit down hard on her lip and turned away so that Aria could not see the emotions working across her face.
“Come, Jadzia,” Aria said gently. “You must be hungry.”
Jadzia followed her sister out of the room without another look at her mother.
“Has she been like this for long?” Jadzia queried. She watched Aria busy herself around the kitchen, whipping out the ingredients for some of Jadzia’s favorite foods.
“Since you left, yes.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I didn’t want to bother you. And I think it's better this way.”
“But you should have bothered me. This is important, Aria. What else have you kept from me?”
“I would not have kept anything if I thought you cared.”
“I have always cared. It’s just that things are different now, very different. And I guess, that’s my fault.”
“I don’t think this is the time, Jadzia.”
Jadzia was silent for a moment. Aria’s movements in the kitchen were clean and practiced. She chopped vegetables with ease and then measured out the spices carefully.
“I missed your cooking. I’m a terrible cook, really.”
“It’s that replicator nonsense,” Aria said. “We have one now, but I prefer this. It’s more relaxing.”
“You were always better at this sort of stuff. Me, I guess I never cared enough really.”
“You always wanted more. Even from the time when you were a little girl, you always wanted more. You were always so determined. You wanted to be joined, you wanted to go to Starfleet Academy, you wanted to explore the far reaches of space. I guess you have that all now, don’t you?”
“Don’t make it sound like a crime, Aria. You supported me once.”
"I've always supported you, Jadzia. Always."
"At what cost though?" Aria stirred the mixture in the pot, stopping for a moment to inhale the pungent aroma filling the kitchen.
“You must be hungry,” Aria said, piling food onto a plate. “Eat as much as you like.”
Then, wiping her hands on her apron, Aria disappeared from the kitchen, leaving Jadzia alone.
Worf’s concerned face filled the viewscreen. Almost trembling, Jadzia placed her fingers on the screen, trying to trace the outline of his face, wishing desperately for him to be here with her.
“You do not look well,” Worf said.
“This was a mistake. I should not have come.”
“Aria hates me.”
“She doesn’t hate you.”
“My mother doesn’t know me.”
“Jadzia, you cannot just wipe eight years away, pretending nothing happened. That is impossible.”
“I know that,” Jadzia sighed. “But it’s so hard.”
“You have done hard things before.”
“But it never meant this much before. If only Aria would forgive me.”
“You must talk to her. I had the same experience with Alexander. It was important that Alexander and I talk, so that he would understand why I did what I did and so that he would forgive me.”
“Yes,” Jadzia sighed. “But you did not kill your father. I did that.”
She found Aria the next morning in the garden. As usual, Aria had ventured out before the sun had risen high in the sky.
“Those are beautiful,” Jadzia said softly. “What are they?”
“They are called Corellian Sunrises. I found them when I was on Corella Prime.”
“I have never been to Corella.”
Aria handed up a purple flower to Jadzia. Jadzia examined the delicate blossom carefully, marveling at each vein in the triangular shaped petals, surrounding a yellow core.
“Will they survive here?” Jadzia asked.
“Most things when transplanted will survive.”
“I don’t know. I will have to find out, I suppose.”
“We have a botanist on our station, Keiko O’Brien. She visits Bajor a lot, brings samples from there. I’m only saying in case you were still interested in xenobotany.”
“I have to take care of our mother. I can’t just go off, Jadzia.”
“You don’t have to sound so accusing.”
“I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m just telling you how things are now. This is my life and it was decided eight years ago."
"You're not making this any easier for me, Aria."
Aria looked up at Jadzia, "I do not wish to live in the past."
Jadzia knelt down next to her sister, “Aria, no matter what, I want you to know that I love you. That no matter how you feel towards me, I will always love you.”
For the first time since she had arrived, Jadzia saw a flicker of emotion in Aria’s eyes. Wordlessly, Aria handed Jadzia another trowel.
“You can start on that bed,” Aria said quietly. “If we work together, we can be finished before lunch.”
That afternoon, Jadzia sat with her mother. It didn’t matter that Kaela had no idea who Jadzia was.
“The war with the Dominion isn’t going well,” Jadzia said. She had taken a seat on the floor, carefully arranging herself to as to cause as little distress as possible to the symbiont. There was something strangely comforting about sitting on the floor and for that reason, Jadzia preferred that. That and she did not want to have to look into Kaela’s face.
“And I suppose that’s why I’m here. Because I almost died, Mother. I almost died. And I realized then that I couldn’t take the chance of letting some things being left unsaid. I want you to know that I’m sorry, that I’m sorry for what I did and for staying away for so long. But you have to understand, I did what I had to do.”
Kaela’s eyes for the first time focused on Jadzia’s face. Carefully, the older woman’s fingers touched Jadzia’s cheek.
“My dear, I had a daughter your age once,” Kaela said softly. “She went away. Do you know where she went?”
The days passed lazily, but Jadzia could still feel the tension through every pore of her body. She knew she couldn’t leave without telling Kaela and Aria what she had come to say. But the weakness in her body had now passed to her soul and suddenly she was afraid.
She was lying in bed one day, too tired to move, when Aria entered the room with breakfast on a tray.
“You don’t look well, Jadzia.”
“Good morning to you too.”
“How do you feel?”
“As well as I possibly can, considering I almost died.”
“You never told me what happened.”
“It was stupid really. The Jem’Hadar have this weapon with an anticoagulant and basically, it just made me bleed all over everything.”
“I’m glad you’re okay.”
“My husband would not leave me there.”
“I’m going to have to thank him for saving your life.”
“I think you would like Worf.”
“I don’t know, Jadzia. You always had strangest tastes in men.”
“That’s what my friend, Kira, says.”
Aria handed Jadzia a cup of something warm to drink.
“This will make you feel better. I want to see some color in your cheeks.”
“Aye, sir. You always did take such good of care of me, Ar, didn't you?”
"You weren't always easy to take care of though."
"I suppose not. But you were always so patient. Even that time when I went through and cut the hair off of all of your dolls."
Aria laughed and Jadzia brightened immediately; Aria’s lack of laughter in the last few days had been conspicuous in its absence.
“I am glad you are here,” Aria said gently. “And for whatever it is worth, I love you too.”
Jadzia’s eyes welled, “You’re going to make me cry.”
“You never did cry when you were a child. You never even cried at Father’s funeral.”
Jadzia immediately stiffened and Aria noticed the reaction. She placed her hand over Jadzia’s.
“I’m sorry for bringing it up. I was hoping not to.”
“How could you not, Aria? It’s obvious that you look at me and think of him. You think of the years you wasted because of me.”
“He was my father. No matter what, I loved him. I loved him. And you too, Jadzia. However much you might doubt it, I always did love you.”
"Even after what I did? Even after what you did for me?"
Aria touched Jadzia's hand gently, "You're burning up, Jadzia."
"You didn't answer my question. You gave away five years of your life for me and you're not angry?"
"No," Aria answered softly. "Never, Jadzia. Never. You were going places and I never wanted more than my plants really."
"That's all you ever wanted?"
"It's all I want now."
Jadzia looked down into her soup and suddenly the room seemed very cold.
“Aria?” she whispered and then the room went black.
She was in her house, but everything felt foggy. It was like she was trapped in some material of some kind which prevented her from moving. There was a man on the floor, gasping for air.
“Jadzia! Jadzia! Help me, Jadzia!”
The voice rang hollow in her ears and more than anything, Jadzia wanted to cover her ears. The odor of burnt flesh filled her nostrils. Jadzia closed her eyes and she was falling. She kept falling until that relentless voice stopped. She forced herself to look and suddenly, she was screaming.
She opened her eyes and for a moment, she could not place where she was. Then she recognized Dr. Bashir immediately.
“Julian?” she whispered hoarsely, trying to sit up.
“Shh, Jadzia,” he said. “Don’t move.”
“Where am I?”
“In the hospital.”
He meant the Medical Center just a few kilometers from Jadzia’s home, not the space station.
“How long have I been here?”
“Three days. Your sister called me and I came as soon as I could.”
“You fainted. And then your neural synapses began to fire randomly, as if you were having a nightmare.”
“I did have a dream. It was suffocating, like someone was trying to press down on me.”
“You rest now, Jadzia. Think later,” Bashir said. He smoothed her hair away from her forehead.
“Where is Aria?”
“She’s been outside, waiting for you to wake up. She is worried about you, Jadzia.”
“I know and there’s so much I have to say.”
Bashir touched Jadzia’s hand lightly, “I must return to the station. Sisko says to take as long as you need to recover and he has agreed to let Worf come to bring you home.”
“Thank you, Julian.”
After Bashir was gone, Jadzia tried to focus her eyes. The room was very bright, but cool and soothing. It was a comforting feeling, a feeling of coming home. She closed her eyes again and fell asleep.
“How do you feel?” Aria asked.
Jadzia had been home for two days now and it felt that every second, Aria was fussing over her. At first, Jadzia had appreciated her sister’s concern and now it was aggravating. The last thing she wanted was for Aria to take care of her.
“I know what you are thinking, Jadzia,” Aria said a moment later, as she wheeled Jadzia out of the sunlight. “You might be joined, but you’re still the same old Jadzia. You hate the fuss. You wish I would leave you alone.”
“A little bit, I suppose. You really didn't need to call Dr. Bashir. It's a long way for him to come."
"I was concerned. I didn't know what to do and I could see you were distressed. I thought it would be better for you if your doctor was here."
"I appreciate the thought. Really, I do."
“I am sorry if I’m fussing too much. I guess I’m just used to. I relate better to people when they are sick.”
“That’s not true.”
“It is now.”
Jadzia surveyed the garden, pleased at being outdoors. She noted that the Corellian Sunrises were thriving quite well.
“We don’t get fresh air often at the station. Sometimes, we make day trips down to Bajor,” Jadzia said. “So this is a treat. Of course, just being home is a treat.”
“Do you mean that? Because I didn’t think you did.”
“I’ve always wanted to, but I guess I’ve always found an excuse to stay away.”
“Because of Father?”
“Yes. That was a big part of it. Mostly, I didn’t want to face you or Mother. The guilt was overwhelming, I think.”
Aria knelt down on the ground and placed her hands on Jadzia’s knees.
“Look at me, Jadzia,” Aria said sternly. “I will always believe what you told the police about that night. I will always believe that you acted in the only way you could have.”
Jadzia bit her lip and closed her eyes, trying to think of the words she wanted to say.
“And I was always so sorry that I was away from you, Jadzia. I had always tried to be there for you, to be the big sister, and when you needed me the most, I let you down.”
“But you didn’t need to take the blame for me. I was the one who killed him.”
Aria stood up and walked a few steps away, contemplating Jadzia’s last words. Then she turned back and faced Jadzia. For a moment, Aria did not see the woman but rather the little girl.
“You were always so full of dreams, Jadzia,” Aria said gently. “And you were so close. I couldn’t let you give it all up. If the Commission had ever found out, you would have never been joined. You knew that as well as I did.”
“But you gave up your dreams for me. Was it really worth it?”
“When I see you now? Yes, it was. It really was. And whatever Father did or didn’t do in his lifetime, I know that he would have been proud of you. He would have been so proud of everything you have achieved.”
Suddenly the sun felt very warm and Jadzia felt her muscles growing weak.
“I’m tired,” she said. “I’m so tired. Can we go in now?”
Aria touched Jadzia’s shoulder, “Of course. Whatever you want.”
Aria said that Kaela was experiencing a clear day so Jadzia went to see her mother. It was still difficult to walk, but for her mother, Jadzia was determined to.
“Mother?” Jadzia entered the room. For the first time since she had arrived, Kaela was not sitting in her rocking chair, but was rather at her desk, writing furiously.
“Hello, Jadzia,” Kaela said. “Aria said you were feeling better today. Is that true?”
Jadzia marveled at the change in her mother and gratefully, she went over to give her mother a hug.
“Yes, much better, Mother. What are you doing?”
“I’m writing in journal. When I can remember, I like to write it all down. Just so I can have my memories for the difficult times.”
“Mother, I want to talk to you. Please.”
Kaela put her pen down and faced her daughter. There was something in Kaela’s expression that Jadzia could not read, but it was not unkind or accusing.
“We never talked about the night Father was shot,” she said. “You never told me what you felt about what I did.”
Kaela took a deep breath and Jadzia prayed ferevently that her mother would not disappear into one of her fugue states.
“You said he attacked you,” Kaela said quietly. “He had been drinking too much that night.”
“He was always drinking,” Jadzia recalled. “But I don’t know how much you and Aria noticed. But when I came back from the Academy, it was so obvious and I was so angry at you because you did nothing.”
“What could I do?”
“Were you afraid?”
Kaela did not answer that question, so Jadzia plowed ahead.
“I know this is painful for you, Mother, and I know you loved him.”
“I loved the man I married,” Kaela said slowly. “It’s not the same thing.”
“I really thought he was going to kill me that night and I don’t know why. He was just angry. And I keep turning it over in my mind. Was he angry because I had finally been accepted as an initiate and he never had been? Mother, I’ve been trying to justify what happened that night for years and it always comes out the same. He would have killed me. If I hadn’t grabbed that phaser and shot him, he would have killed me. I just regret that I hadn’t thought to put it on stun. I was just so scared,” Jadzia’s eyes filled with tears. “I was so scared and I didn’t know where you were, Mother. I didn’t know where you were. And I've been angry at you for so long. For so long, Mama. I wondered why you didn't come, when you knew what he was capable of.”
Kaela rose suddenly and folded her quaking daughter into her arms.
“It’s all right, Jadzia. I forgive you. I forgave you long ago.”
Kaela turned away just in time for Jadzia to see that vacant stare enter her eyes.
“I love you, Mother,” Jadzia whispered. "And I forgive you too."
But Kaela did not hear her.
Worf and Jadzia walked hand in hand through the cemetery. It was a cloudy day, with a chill running through the wind. It was a perfect day on Trill, Jadzia thought, but it was obvious that Worf was feeling a little cold.
“I was alone that night,” Jadzia said. “I had just come back from the Academy maybe a week before. And he
was there. And he was drinking.”
“I asked him something. Something silly, I can’t even remember what now. We talked a little and then we got into an argument. And then he lunged at me. I didn't expect it all, Worf. Really. My father, in the time I had been away, had changed so drastically. I didn't even know him anymore.”
Worf stopped walking for a moment and hugged Jadzia. She rested for a moment in the comfort of his arms. And then they continued on their way.
"When we were younger, he used to tell stories to Aria and I. He had grand ambitions. He wanted so much for himself, but he never got what he wanted. Mostly because I don't think he worked for it. I don't want to think that my father was jealous of me. I really don't. But I don't think he ever looked at me the same after I went to starfleet Academy. I think he was angry because once he wanted to go and he couldn't."
"But that doesn't mean he has to take it on you."
"No, it doesn't. But like I said, he changed so much in those years I was away. Bitterness eats away at the soul,
"Yes," Worf said softly. "It does."
“He had this metal rod, the one we used to stoke up the kitchen fire,” she said. “And he was trying to hit me with it. But because he was drunk, his aim was off. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn’t listen. He kept calling me the devil, for no reason that I could think of. And then he actually hit me. Right here on the shoulder. And that’s when I knew he would kill me,” Jadzia's vision blurred as she wiped a tear away from her eye. She kept walking, but almost blindly. Worf grabbed her elbow to keep her from stumbling.
“I am sorry, Jadzia.”
Jadzia brushed some hair out of her eyes. She smiled in the distance.
“I don’t know why my father did the things he did. I did love him in spite of everything. And sometimes, I still see him lying there on the floor and then Aria coming out of nowhere, taking the phaser out of my hand. She took the blame, you see. When the authorities came, she said she was the one who had done it. That way, I could still be joined.”
“Aria doesn’t blame me. What my mother thinks, I don't know. But I think they still don’t understand what happened that night and to be honest, I don’t understand myself. But you know, I’m glad it’s finally over. That I finally was able to talk about it with them.”
“You didn’t discuss it then?”
“No,” Jadzia shook her head. “The next day, Mother bought me a ticket on the next transport and I never came home after that.”
"She went to prison for five years. There was some doubt, of course, but she insisted. If there is anything I regret, it's that Aria sacrificed so much for me and there's nothing I can ever do to repay her."
"Does she want to be repaid?"
"No. Aria isn't like that."
They had approached the gravestone in question and Jadzia paused for a moment. There were flowers planted around the stone, blood-red and yellow blossoms. Jadzia did not know if her father would appreciate Aria's tenderness, but she desperately hoped that he would have.
She eyed the writing carefully. Worf took a step back, letting Jadzia a few minutes alone with her father. She traced the lettering of his name with her index finger slowly. She read the words, “Husband of Kaela, Father of Aria and Jadzia.” That was all, no endearments of any kind. She rose, wiping the dirt off of her knees.
“Come,” she said, holding her hand out to Worf. “Let’s go home.”
Have something to say about this piece? Visit the Message Board!
Back to Seema's Fanfic Page