The Return, part I

By Seema

Legalities first: Paramount owns all of the characters with the exception of the random ensign or lieutenant. The story, however, is all mine.

This story was written sometime in the spring of '98 and is based on the episode, "Rejoined." (7/21/00)


She stood at the edge of the Promenade, clenching the railing tightly, staring intensely at the woman standing directly below.

She had never remembered feeling this much emotion before, as she watched the woman she loved take a final look around before entering the docking bay.

"Look at me," she begged silently, trying to hold tears back. She bit down on her lip so hard, she could taste blood. "Look at me, Lenara.

Change your mind. Don't go. Please don't go."

But instead, Lenara Kahn said a few words to Commander Worf, who stood next to the door. Jadzia Dax wished desperately she knew what Lenara was saying. And then, after the brief conversation, Lenara was gone. Dax remained standing, unable to accept that Lenara was leaving, that Lenara did not love her enough to stay.


Dax whirled around, "Benjamin."

"I thought I would find you here," Captain Sisko said quietly. He leaned against the railing, eyeing his old friend speculatively. "Did she leave?"

"Yes," Dax sucked her breath in. "She left."

"It's for the best, Old Man."

Dax did not answer; she remained riveted on the door through which Lenara had disappeared.

"Will you be all right?" Sisko asked, placing his hand on her shoulder.

"You know I loved her," there was an emptiness in Dax's voice, a tone of hopelessness Sisko had not heard before.

"Would it have been worth the sacrifice? To go against everything you were raised to believe in?"

"I think so, yes. And if she loved me, she would have stayed."

"Love can't be that selfish, Old Man," Sisko said gently. "Lenara left because she could not disregard her
duty to Trill and her symbiont.

If you truly loved her, you would let her go."

"I know. But it hurts, really hurts, right here," Dax placed her hand on her heart.

Sisko reached over to hug his friend, "It will take time, but you will recover."

"Thank you, Benjamin. I appreciate your kindness."

The com beeped, "Kira to Sisko."

"Here, Major," Sisko said.

"I need you in Ops right away," Kira said.

"On my way. Dax," Sisko said. "If you need to talk, anything at all…"

"I know, I know. You are always available."

Once Sisko was gone, Dax continued to watch the door of the docking bay intensely, hoping that Lenara would change her mind and come back.

But when the doors did finally fly open, only Commander Worf appeared. Dax sighed in disappointment.

"Commander!" she leaned over. Worf looked up at her.

"Dax," his gruff voice carried well over the distance.

"I was wondering if you were free," Dax said. "I have a new holosuite program I want to try."

"All right," the Klingon responded.

Dax bit back her lips in an attempt to stop tears welling in her eyes as she went to meet Worf. The new Klingon program would be perfect for venting her frustration… and for forgetting Lenara.


Jadzia stretched languidly, kicking off her blanket as her eyes slowly opened. The smell of raktijino wafted through the air.

For a moment, she burrowed under her pillow and then reluctantly sat up. Once again, the room was too hot, which made her feel sleepy again. She heard a noise in the other room and the smell of the Klingon brew tempted her fully awake.

"Worf," she got up and padded into the other room.

"Good morning," her husband greeted her. He was already dressed for work and was enjoying a cup of raktijino while going over a PADD.

"It's hot in here. You need to stop turning the temperature controls so high," Jadzia complained, settling herself squarely in Worf's lap.

"Jadzia," Worf said. "That's no way to start the morning."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him, "Good morning, then. Better?"

"Yes," he answered.

"Why didn't you wake me?"

"You were so tired yesterday after our duel," Worf said.

"No more tired than you."

"I thought you needed the rest."

"Still, you could have tried. I would have liked to have breakfast with you."

"I do not like waking you up. You are very difficult in the morning."

"I am not difficult!"

"You do not like waking up."

"You're right, I am difficult," she said in defeat. Worf rested his chin for a moment on her bare shoulder, tracing the spots which ran down her neck into the edges of her magenta night gown with his finger. She nestled in his arms, savoring the sweetness of the moment.

"What are you reading?" she asked.

"Just the duty roster."

"Exciting stuff."

"Not really," Worf admitted.

"That was a joke, Worf."

He scowled and stood up, promptly dumping her onto the floor.


He reached down and she took his hand and pulled herself up.

"I apologize," he said, but Jadzia saw the twinkle in his eyes.

"You did that on purpose," she said.

"Perhaps," he shrugged. "Are you hurt?"

"No. And your apology is accepted, but only because I love you."

Worf kissed her lightly on the forehead, "I should leave or I will be late."

"All right. Then I will see you in Ops."

He kissed her one more time. As always, Jadzia felt a little lonely whenever Worf left her. For a
second, she wondered if he too felt the separation, however brief, as keenly as she did. In fact, there had once been a time when she was not sure if he loved her as passionately as she felt for him.

"You've always been one to lead with your heart, Jadzia," she told herself. "Worf isn't like that. He is more solid, more consistent. But he loves you. He really does."

And with that reassuring thought, she began to get ready for her day.


"Dax?" Sisko approached his science officer. For a moment, he waited. She was deep in thought, her brow furrowed in concentration.

And then her expression lightened as the answer came to her and she quickly tapped some keys on her console.

"Yes, Benjamin?"

"In my office."

Dax nodded, "Yes, sir."

Once in his office, Sisko wasted no time.

"Lenara Kahn is returning," he said.

"Lenara," Dax said, feeling the name on her tongue. "Lenara."


"Is she part of a science expedition?"

"Yes. The same experiment as before. She has come up with new equations and hopes it will work this time."

"Ah. Well, I will most certainly make my lab available to her."

"I did not doubt that. I did want to warn you."

"I will be fine."

"That's what you said last time. It took months for you to recover from her departure."

"It's been five years, Benjamin, since I saw Lenara. Things have changed. I wasn't married then."

"Love is very powerful, Dax. I don't want you to underestimate it."

"I'm not, Benjamin. I don't think I love Lenara anymore. And I would never do anything to hurt Worf. I love him more than I ever loved Lenara."

"You can't quantify or qualify your love like that. You must trust me, Old Man," Sisko said intensely.

Dax eyed him, "You think I can't sort my feelings out?"

"What you feel for Lenara and what you feel for Worf are two different things."

"I do not love her."

"I believe you," Sisko said, an element of uncertainty creeping into his voice.

"Does he know? Does Worf know Lenara is coming?"

"He may. He and Kira are going over the docking schedule now."

"I should tell him then," Dax stood, suddenly worried. "Benjamin…"

"You are excused."

She headed out but then paused for a moment, "Thank you for your concern, Benjamin. But it will be fine. I promise."


Worf eyed Jadzia with a mixture of concern and fear. He knew he should trust her; not since her infamous dinner with Captain Boday had she given him reason to doubt her. But Captain Boday had not posed the threat that Lenara Kahn did. After all, Jadzia had never been married to Boday. Then Worf corrected himself: it was Torias Dax who had married Nelani Kahn.

Jadzia bit her lip again, almost afraid of her husband at that moment. She could not lie and say she did not feel anything for Lenara, but it would be impossible to deny how much she had once felt for Lenara. She wondered how he would react and his silence made her nervous.

"You don't need to worry, Worf," Jadzia said, rushing in to fill the gaps in the conversation. "It's the same as when you return to the Enterprise and Deanna is there. I don't worry about Deanna, do I?"

He wanted to tell her that his relationship with Deanna Troi did not have the same scope as the relationship Lenara and Jadzia had shared, that he had never loved Deanna the way Jadzia had loved Lenara.

"Besides, I love you," Jadzia said brightly.

"I know," Worf replied stiffly. Suddenly, the replimat was too open, too loud. Worf wanted to take Jadzia somewhere else, somewhere where they could be alone in quiet… where Lenara Kahn would not be able to find them.

"Say something," Jadzia implored.

"I am thinking," Worf said and once again, Jadzia felt that shiver of fear run up her spine. Even though he trusted her completely, Worf could remember the expression on Jadzia's face the day Lenara Kahn had left Deep Space Nine. He remembered fighting a reenactment of an ancient Klingon battle in the holosuite and then how afterwards Jadzia had cried in his arms. At the time, he did not know how to react and he had awkwardly tried to console her. And even after they began their relationship, Jadzia spoke little of Lenara and he could
sense that the hurt was still there inside of her.

"Do you doubt me?" Jadzia asked.

"No," Worf said, making his decision. "No, I do not doubt you."

Jadzia let her breath out in a long sigh of relief, "I will be working with Lenara, you know that."

"On the Defiant?"


"I may be commanding the Defiant during your experiments," Worf said stiffly.

"I'm aware of that. And I think, that will be good."

Worf covered her cold hand with his larger, warmer hand, "I trust you. I trust you know who your heart beats for."

"I do," Jadzia said. "I do."


Lenara Kahn stepped off the ship, feeling anxiety in the pit of her stomach. Inside of her, the symbiont lurched
and Lenara placed her hand against her abdomen, in an attempt to calm it. She was uneasy because she knew Jadzia Dax was nearby and she did not know how to explain herself to Dax. How could she explain why she left all those years ago?

"I did love you," Lenara said to herself. "I just couldn't do it. My sense of duty was too great and some days, I do regret what I did."

But that was in the past, and now Lenara knew she would have to face Jadzia. She did not know if Jadzia still cared for her, but Lenara knew that if faced with the same choice again, she would stay this time.


Dax stood partly hidden by Worf and Major Kira. She held her hands behind her back, trying to hide the fact that she was shaking.

Seeing Lenara again made her nervous and she knew that her emotions were tangled. Dax took a deep breath, trying to separate Dax's thoughts from Jadzia's.

"Maybe I should not be here," Dax said finally.

Worf turned around, searching her face for any clue to the inner turmoil he knew she must be feeling.

"If you wish," he said flatly.

Kira felt uncomfortable, sensing the tension between the two. She stared straight in front of her, willing either for Dax to leave or for to Lenara arrive. Either the way, the situation had to be resolved immediately.

"Dax," Kira said. "The Trill ship has docked. You must decide now."

Seeing the expression on Worf's face, Dax decided to stay. She had to show her husband he could trust her, that she could control her own feelings.

"I will stay. After all, I do have to work with her for the next two weeks," Dax said firmly.

At that moment, the doors to the docking bay slid open and the Trill science team emerged. Lenara was near the front and her eyes immediately met Jadzia's.

"Hello," Lenara said, going straight to Dax.

"It's good to see you again, Lenara," Dax said quietly, aware both Kira and Worf were watching them. "You remember Major Kira and Commander Worf."

"Of course," Lenara said. "It is good to see you again."

"It's good to have you back on the station," Kira said and then immediately regretted the words, for Lenara turned to Dax again.

"We're going to try this again," Lenara said. "And this time, I hope for better results."

Dax was about to ask Lenara what she meant, but then decided against it.

"Yes, hopefully the experiment will be successfully completed this time," Dax said brightly.

"That's not what I meant," Lenara said in a low voice.

Dax took a step backwards, "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean."

Lenara appeared confused but then Kira interrupted, "I'm sure you must be exhausted, Dr. Kahn. Why don't I
show you to your quarters?"

"That would be very nice," Lenara replied.

Kira led the science team off, leaving Worf and Jadzia alone together. Jadzia placed the heel of her hand against her forehead.

Worf stepped forward and unexpectedly, he drew her close.

"I'm sorry, Worf. I had no idea," Jadzia whispered into his ear.

"She does not know you are married."

"I haven't communicated with her since she left the station. And with the war, news does not travel as fast it once did. Unfortunately."

"You will have to inform her immediately of the change in your situation."

"I know, Worf, I know."

He regarded her for a moment, "Do you still have feelings for her?"

"No, I don't think so, Worf. But it is still difficult."

"I understand."

She smiled gratefully at him, "You are a good man, Commander. I am lucky to have you."

"Likewise," Worf said. "Come, we should help Kira get the science team situated and plan the itinerary for the next two weeks."


Dax moved through the science lab efficiently, checking the computer consoles with a trained eye. She issued a few instructions to an ensign working on an experiment and then moved to speak with Lenara Kahn, who was tapping some equations into the system.

"I think by varying the ion particle stream, it just might work this time," Kahn said.

"If you create this wormhole, you will make history," Dax said. "And it looks like you really have refined the experiment. I think you may do it this time."

"I was really disappointed last time. It took a long time for me to start over."

"I understand. I get the feeling sometimes too. Especially when you have spent so much time on an experiment and to have it go wrong."

Kahn tapped in some more parameters and then said, "What do you think?"

Dax leaned over to peer over Lenara's shoulder, "Better. But why don't we try this?"

Dax sat down in the chair next to Lenara and began moving some of the variables around.

"Very neat," Kahn said approvingly. "Much tidier than what I had originally."

"Oh, but the idea is all yours. I just cleaned it up a little more."

"I can't wait to try this out. When can we take the Defiant out?"

"Commander Worf says we may go tomorrow for the initial run."

"Sounds good."

"But you should get some rest," Dax said. "It will be a long day and we've already done so much work today. And your trip must have been tiring."

"I am not tired. In fact, I was hoping we could have dinner tonight."

"I'm sorry. I cannot. I have plans for dinner tonight."

"Maybe tomorrow then."


"Good night then."

Dax remained sitting, long after Lenara was gone. She kept playing the afternoon over and over in her mind and she came to an inescapable conclusion: she and Lenara still complimented each other. Those feelings she had once had for Lenara were starting to bubble inside and she had to close her eyes, trying to keep those feelings at bay. There was too much at stake.


The next morning, Worf watched uneasily as Dax and Kahn chatted about the experiment. He wanted to focus his attention on commanding the Defiant, but he couldn't.

"Run the betas again," Dax said to Kahn. "I do not understand my readings. I don't think the neutrino levels are right."

"Let me see," Kahn moved to look over Dax's shoulders. "You're right. They do look odd but not out of the specified parameters."

"Still, I think we should focus the field, narrow the variables," Dax said.

"It might work, but I'm reluctant," Kahn said. "There might not be enough there to ignite the plasma then."

"Then there has to be another way. I don't think it will work in its current state," Dax pointed out. "Look at this curve here. It doesn't match up with the curves from the existing wormhole."

"Could we add the two curves? Would that work?"

"Actually, I think we would have to subtract your proposed curve with the actual curve," Dax said.

"You're right," Lenara laughed nervously.

"Don't worry, Lenara," Dax placed her hand on Lenara's forearm, a gesture which did not go unnoticed by Worf. "Trust me, it will work this time. We will make it work. But I think we should go back to the station and work on it in the lab."

"Sounds good."

Dax moved away from Kahn, suddenly feeling very light-headed and queasy. Inside of her, the symbiont lurched as every step took her further from Lenara.

"Jadzia," Worf grabbed her arm as she swayed. "What is wrong? Are you sick?"

Jadzia put her hand to her forehead, "I can't think, Worf. I can't think."

"Should I take you to sickbay?"

"I just want to sit. Please let me just sit somewhere."

"We're going back to the station now. Ensign, lay in a course for the station," Worf ordered. He led Jadzia
to a seat and sat her down. He was concerned about how she looked, pale and listless.

"Jadzia," Worf said.

"I will be fine," she said. "Please?"

Worf eyed her one more time and then reluctantly left her. Jadzia pressed her hands against her stomach,
trying to calm the symbiont. Dax's feelings were threatening to overwhelm Jadzia in a way that hadn't
happened since the joining nearly twelve years before.

"It will be okay," Jadzia communicated to the symbiont. The symbiont settled down, easing some of the
pressure in Jadzia's head and stomach. Jadzia sighed; she did not know how much more she could take.


"Do you remember that dinner at Nelani's house?" Lenara asked, laughing. "When Torias was going to propose?"

"Oh yes!" Jadzia laughed. "That was a disastrous night. Torias was sure Nelani's parents would kick him out
of the house. Especially after he criticized the National Opera…"

"That was a big mistake," Lenara said. "Poor Torias. Social inept that he was, he forgot that Nelani's father
was the star of the National Opera."

"But Torias managed to keep at it. He knew who he loved and he did not give up until Nelani was his," Jadzia said.

The two women shared a knowing smile across the table, basking in their shared memories. There was something very comfortable and familiar in being with Lenara and Jadzia tried not to think about how easy it would be to just settle into that comfort.

"I'm so glad you could have dinner with me tonight. I was afraid I would not be allowed to spend any time
at all with you," Lenara confessed. "Your schedule is busy, extremely busy. That Commander Worf doesn't
allow you much free time, does he?"

"Well," Jadzia said.

"I just feel that you have been distant lately. That you have been avoiding me."

"Not at all. It's just that things change. It's been five years, Lenara."

"I know. I know. But my feelings haven't changed."

"Neither have Dax's."

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that Dax is having problems dealing with your presence here. And Dax's feelings are overwhelming
Jadzia. I don't know what I feel, what Jadzia Dax is feeling. And I know what I should feel."

"You love me."

"I don't know," Jadzia exclaimed. "I've never had problems sorting my feelings from Dax's. And I guess,
most times what Dax feels is what I feel. But I can't feel this way about you, Lenara. I can't."

"What changed?" Lenara demanded.

Jadzia lowered her eyes, trying to figure out a way to tell Lenara about Worf. But at that
moment, a familiar voice boomed through Quark's.

"Commander Dax!"

Dax turned, "Worf."

She knew that glower, she knew that tone of voice.

"You did not tell me you were having dinner with Dr. Kahn," he said.

"I'm sorry. I didn't get a chance…"

"Have you done what I asked?"

Jadzia turned to face Lenara, who looked utterly confused, and then turned back to Worf.

"Not yet, Commander. Not yet."

"Jadzia," he growled.

"Worf," Dax stood up. She grabbed him by the arm and moved away from Lenara. "I don't
want to have this fight with you right now, here. In front of her."

"You haven't told her."

"No. But I'm going to."

"Why are you hesitating?"

"It's difficult, Worf! It's difficult."

"You must tell her."

"I told you I would."

Worf stared at her, his dark eyes wild with anger, "See that you do."

He turned and headed out of Quark's, leaving Jadzia staring after him.

After a moment, she pulled herself together and turned back to Lenara.

"He seemed angry," Kahn observed.

"He's very angry," Dax sighed. "And he has every right to be."

"Is there something going on that I should know about?"

Dax took a deep breath, "I don't know how to tell you this, Lenara."


"Things have changed. My heart isn't free anymore."

"What do you mean by that?"

"It means that I am married. To Commander Worf."

"Oh," Lenara said. "Oh."

Jadzia twisted her hands together, "I am sorry."

"How long have you been married?"

"Three years."

"Oh. It explains a lot, I suppose. Why I never heard from you again."

"I am sorry, Lenara. I should have told you sooner."

"I didn't really give you the chance."

"The truth is," Jadzia hesitated and then she said in a rush, "I don't know what I feel for you myself. I'm having problems figuring out and it scares me. It really does. And I think it frightens Worf too."

"I want you to know that I love you still. I think I always will."

"I know and I feel the same about you," Dax sighed. "That's the problem."

Go to Part II

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