People & places belong to Paramount. No infringement intended. This story takes place four months after “Tears of the Prophets”
This story is dedicated in loving memory to my sister-in-law.
Written summer of '98 (wow, that was a productive time!). I won't say much more than that other than it was a very difficult summer and this story helped get some of those feelings out. (11/13/00)
Alone. It was how he spent much of his time these days. It wasn’t that he shunned people, it was more that he could no longer take their looks of pity. He did not want to be asked thirty times a day how he was feeling; no one could know how he was feeling.
And so tonight, like every night for the last four months, Worf returned to his quarters. Alone. His routine was the same every night. He would replicate some dinner and then after eating, he would sit at his desk and finish up some work or start a new project. With Sisko gone, Worf was the ranking Federation presence at Deep Space Nine and Worf took his new duties as Kira’s first officer very seriously. And, if he kept himself busy, he would not think of Jadzia. Jadzia. Worf sat heavily, his appetite suddenly gone. Four months. A time span that seemed enormous to him and the possibilities of a lifetime of missing and loving Jadzia seemed more torturous to him as each day passed.
In the days after her death, he had been able to hold his grief at bay; there were arrangements to be made, things to be done. Also, Sisko’s departure had placed an added burden on Kira, a burden which the Bajoran gladly shared with Worf.
But then when he returned to his quarters one evening, he looked around - really looked around - and he saw Jadzia everywhere. Her jacket still hung over the back of the sofa, her tricorder was lying on the table and her silver hair clip had fallen on the floor. He had moved, as if in a daze, noticing the details that had made these quarters their home, noticing the little touches Jadzia had added. And suddenly, he was imbued with a sense of loss that he could not fight through.
Since then, Worf had maintained his outward, stoic composure. Inside though, his mind kept replaying his last moments with Jadzia, her words just before she died, the final caress, the final breath. Sometimes, he felt as if the very life had been sucked out of him.
He had never been particularly close to anyone on the station; to him, they had all been Jadzia’s friends and they had accepted him as Jadzia’s husband. So, he retreated to the quarters he had once shared with Jadzia.
After he finished eating, Worf cleaned up. The quarters were now clean as they had never been when Jadzia was alive; she had this careless way of just dropping things wherever she felt like it. At first, Worf would point out to her that her jacket would get wrinkled if she continued to leave it hanging from chairs or sofas, but she ignored him. Sometimes he would clean up after her, shaking his head with each article that he put away.Tonight, he thought, he give anything to put away her things again.
He sat at his desk and pulled out a PADD, but his eyes kept flirting to a photograph propped up directly in front of him. It was his favorite picture of them together, taken only days before her death. They were both happy and relaxed, planning for the future.He had not wanted to have the picture taken, but Jadzia had insisted.
At the time, he had grumbled, but he went along with her. The picture was informal and so they had shed their Starfleet uniforms in favor of more casual attire; Dax in a pink dress and him in a blue shirt and pants.“You have to relax,” Jadzia had told him as the photographer had tried to figure out a suitable pose for them. “This is fun.”
Finally, the photographer had decided to have Worf sitting in a chair, with Dax standing behind him. But at the last moment, Jadzia had stooped so that her lips were level with his ears; feeling her breath on his face, Worf had turned his face towards her.It was that moment the photographer had captured. There were other pictures of course, but none that were as spontaneous or as loving as this one.
“The war isn’t going well, Jadzia,” Worf said now, as he traced the picture with his finger. He often talked to her, hoping that she could hear him, wherever she was now.
“The Romulans have sustained heavy causalities. I don’t know how much longer this can go on. Sisko doesn’t appear to be coming back. He’s working at his father’s restaurant. Kira has tried everything, Starfleet has tried everything. If you were here, maybe he would come back.”
pushed back from the desk. That sad truth was that Jadzia was not here
and there was nothing he could do to change that.
He turned out the lights in the main room and went to bed. Alone.
morning, Commander,” Kira greeted Worf as he strolled into Ops.
“Good morning, Major,” Worf replied. Even in his own grief, Worf could not ignore the toll the last four months had taken on Major Kira. She looked thin, her big brown eyes suddenly very large. Her reddish hair had started to gray in some areas and there was this constant look of tightness on her face, revealing the enormity of her sorrow over the events of the past few months. Like Worf, Kira had retreated in her own way. To be cut off from the Prophets so suddenly and violently had shaken Kira’s faith. She had once told Worf that she no longer knew who to turn to for advice when it came to making difficult decisions and as a religious man, he understood what she meant.
glad you’re here, Commander,” Kira said. “I’ve been picking up some low level
ion traces so I’ve run some scans.”
“Unclear,” Kira said. She bit her lip; if Dax was still alive, there would be little or no question as to what the scans meant. "I've asked Mrs. O'Brien to come and look, but I'm not sure how much help she would be able to provide. I'm afraid that someone's going to have to go out there and look at it more closely."
The two eyed each other uneasily, both thinking again that if Dax were still alive, she would be the first to volunteer to go. Kira bit down on her lip and Worf sensed her tension immediately.
will go," he said quietly.
was hoping you’d volunteer. It’s similar to the disturbance we encountered during
our attack on Cardassia.”
Worf vaguely remembered the phenomenon, but at the time, he had been more concerned about destroying the weapons platform, that he had ignored the anomaly. And then of course, the priority one message from Julian and then he could think of nothing but Jadzia.“Why don’t you look at what we’ve already collected?” Kira suggested.
“You will never believe what came up today, Worf!” she would exclaim whenever she had made a great discovery of some kind. Every type of natural phenomenon, whatever it might eventually turn out to be, had grabbed Dax’s interest and often, she would serenade Worf with lengthy explanations of what it all meant.
is inconclusive,” Worf said now. Kira nodded.
have the coordinates of the disturbance,” Kira said.
will take a runabout.”
think the Rubicon is available. And Commander?”
He gave those last words of Kira’s more weight than he might have in the past; he understood Kira’s worry and he respected her concern for his well-being.
will contact you when I am finished,” he answered.
He arrived at the anomaly with little problem; Kira’s coordinates had been perfect. The runabout’s scanners picked up levels of ion radiation far higher than what had been measured back at the station. Worf frowned at the readings as he noticed plasma currents moving in a wave pattern. Immediately, he began to chart the pattern.
to Deep Space Nine.”
here. Go ahead, Commander.”
appears to be the beginnings of a plasma storm, Major.”
ion radiation? That can’t be possible.”
sending you the new data now.”
good. I’ll contact you when I receive them.”
The plasma wave patterns were growing more violent and the runabout rocked slightly. Worf immediately increased power to the stabilizers, since he did not intend to leave until he had gathered all the necessary information.
Kira’s voice sounded strained over the com link.
is it, Major?”
O’Brien just looked at the data and it appears that there is a rift in space.”
rift?” Worf asked. Much as he respected Mrs. O’Brien’s skills as a xenobotanist,
he did not really trust her scientific knowledge much when it came to astronomic
a small rupture, sir,” Keiko said. “And it’s expanding. It's like space is folded
in on itself, creating an opening in the space fabric.”
are sure of this?” Worf asked.
Keiko’s voice did not waver. Worf decided to trust her; she was the closest
they had to a science officer on the station.
think you should return immediately,” Kira said.
my way, Major. Worf out.”
Worf took one last look at the anomaly, still not quite sure what Keiko meant by a rift. But as long as someone understood what was going on, he supposed it was all right. He turned the runabout and headed back to Deep Space Nine.****
Kira met him at the landing pad and he immediately gave her the data clip with all the new information he had gathered on it. They began to walk down the hall together and Worf noticed that Kira looked much better now than when he had left her. He would never tell her, but there were times when he felt genuine concern for Kira’s health and now, the lightness in her step, reassured him as words could not.
just hope it doesn’t threaten the station,” Kira said quietly. “It’s hard to
predict things like this.”
should be a pattern,” Worf said. “I was starting to pick one up before Mrs.
O’Brien detected the rift.”
looked at him oddly and he wondered if he had said something wrong.
O’Brien?” she asked. “Well, that’s wrong. It’s not so much a rift as much as
it’s a fold in space.”
what she said, but I don't think I understand really what she means."
just as baffled as you are, Commander,” Kira said. "It's too bad Jadzia could
not take a look at the anomaly herself. I'm sure she would be able to understand
what it means."
did not respond to Kira's comment; he knew only too well how much Jadzia would
have loved to look at this curious phenomenon.
parted ways on the Promenade, with Kira heading to Ops and Worf to Quark’s.
Since Jadzia’s death, Quark had always been a little quieter, more sullen. He even was polite to Worf, something Worf had never expected from the Ferengi. There were times when Quark allowed Worf to exceed his allocated time in the holosuites and in his own way of showing kindness to the Klingon, Quark never charged Worf for the extra time. As a result, Worf had begun to tolerate the Ferengi, something Jadzia had hoped for.
though, Quark had returned to his sarcastic, unpleasant self.
Worf said gruffly as he swung into a chair next to Bashir.
No prune juice?” Quark asked.
are you today, Commander?” the doctor asked pleasantly. “I heard Kira sent you
out on a little adventure.”
sure Jadzia would have loved to have seen it.”
face tightened at the mention of her name. He did not say anything. The doctor
unhappy, Commander,” Quark said, placing the requested beverage in front of
the Klingon. “Of course, it’s not that you ever look happy anyway. Don’t
know what the wife of yours saw in you anyway.”
Worf could feel his blood boiling, but still he said nothing. It would not do to take the Ferengi by the throat, no matter how much he wanted to.
“It must be the stress of impending fatherhood,” Bashir remarked. Worf stood, suddenly unable to restrain himself. He swept his bloodwine away with his arm, shattering the glass and spilling the liquid everywhere. Then he turned and stomped away.
did I say?” Bashir queried innocently.
Fatherhood. He could not believe that Bashir, of all people, had said such a thing! Bashir, who had been one of Jadzia’s closest friends, knew how much Worf and Jadzia had wanted a child of their own, how they had been planning a baby just days before Jadzia had died.
angrily punched in the entry code of his quarters and the doors slid open. He
headed to the replicator, intending for a quick lunch before returning to work.
looks like someone had a bad day.”
turned at the familiar voice.
Dax walked over from the entrance to the bedroom. She draped her arms around
his neck and kissed him long and hard.
else would it be, my love?” she asked. “Or were you expecting to meet someone
Worf said. “Certainly not. I was not expecting to meet anyone at all.
What are you doing here?”
was feeling a little tired after you left to investigate the anomaly,” Jadzia
said. “So I came back here to rest for a while.”
Are you feeling all right?”
pregnant. That’s all.”
He took a step back and with a shock, realized that Jadzia was very pregnant. Her jacket was open, revealing a loose blue turtleneck softly draped over her bulging abdomen. With a gasp, he laid his fingers on her stomach.
he asked with wonderment and shock. “Mine?”
eyed him with a mixture of curiosity and amusement.
of course yours. Who else’s would it be?”
can’t be,” he said more to himself than to the woman standing in front of him.
are you all right?”
though, Worf did not feel fine. Jadzia here, alive, well and pregnant.
It was as if the last four months had not happened, that it had all been a terrible
ordered dinner from Quark’s tonight,” Dax said conversationally as she started
to clear away a variety of items from the table. “He should deliver it soon.
I was too tired to make anything tonight.”
Is something wrong?”
no,” he said uncomfortably. “Whatever you want, that’s fine with me.”
She eyed him with that same quizzical expression again but he could not look at her. Instead, he went into the bedroom and sat down on the bed. Most details were the same, except that there more pictures in this room. He picked up one, a picture of the two of them in some outdoor scene, sitting by a clump of trees. Jadzia’s hair floated around her shoulders, and she was leaning against Worf.
entered the room, her jacket over her arm.
of Casperia?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes. That picture was taken on Casperia Prime,” she answered. “On our honeymoon? Honestly, Worf, I can’t believe you don’t remember.”
I didn’t know what you were referring to.”
honeymoon. Right after you came back from the invasion of Cardassia. Where this
one,” she patted her stomach, “was conceived.”
Jadzia placed her hands on his shoulders and faced him squarely. “I need to
know if something’s wrong. Please.”
sorry, Jadzia. I’m just not myself today. It will be all right, I’m sure.”
you should see Dr. Bashir.”
maybe some rest. I’ll sleep early tonight.”
if it were a dream, Worf knew with regret, it would all be over in the morning.
Worf slept fitfully that night and at one point, he actually sat up in bed. He looked over and saw Jadzia sleeping next to him; she was lying on her side and at one point, her arm had been draped across Worf’s chest.
difficulty, he managed to lie back down. But he could not sleep.
“Good morning,” Jadzia said cheerfully as Worf staggered out of the bedroom and fell into the seat opposite her. Jadzia looked unusually fresh and awake this morning, he noticed.
slept late,” Jadzia went on, as she rose. “I’ve been keeping your breakfast
warm in the replicator.”
should have woken me up.”
figured you needed your rest,” she answered. “You didn’t look well last night.
Are you feeling better today?”
Worf said. “I am feeling better today.”
glad to hear it."
placed his breakfast in front of him, resting her hand on his shoulder for a
now you can tell me about the anomaly. I’ve been going over the data you collected,”
Jadzia said. “It’s interesting. I really wish I could have gone with you, but
Julian was unsure of the effects on the baby and I didn't want to take any chances.”
a fold in space, surrounding a rupture of some kind.”
How did you know that?”
O’Brien said it was.”
looked at him oddly, “Keiko? When?”
When I was investigating.”
Keiko’s been back on earth for the last three months,” Jadzia said.
Once again, Worf felt that strange twisting in his stomach. He did not know what was real anymore. He knew for certainty that this wasn’t his reality, that in his universe, Jadzia was dead.“I meant Kira,” he said softly. “Kira told me.”
And that’s why Kira looked at me so strangely when I mentioned Keiko, he thought to himself. This is ridiculous. Suddenly, he didn’t feel hungry. He pushed his plate away and walked into the bedroom. Jadzia followed him.
please. You’re scaring me.”
turned and looked at Jadzia. She looked beautiful this morning, he thought.
Pregnancy suited her.
do this to me again," Jadzia pleaded. "Don't push me away again. Tell me what's
don’t know,” he admitted finally. “Something’s not right.”
do you mean?”
mean, this is all wrong. You shouldn’t be here.”
should I be?”
Worf turned away; the innocence of Jadzia’s question broke his heart. He could not tell her. And suppose this was all real, that truly he had been caught in a nightmare for the last four months and now he had finally woken up.
you didn’t answer my question.”
can’t forget it. You’re not acting like yourself and it worries me. If there’s
something wrong, you have to tell me. Does this have to do with Cardassia again?”
I been here for the last four months?” he asked hesitantly.
looked at him strangely, “I hope so. I think the evidence speaks for itself.”
began to get dressed.
have to get to Ops,” he said.
changing the subject.”
“Jadzia,” Worf sat down heavily on the bed. He held his arms out to her and she came willingly. He pulled her down onto his knee and held her tightly, burying his head against her shoulder. She ran her fingers through his hair.
it is, we’ll get through it,” she assured him gently. “Don’t worry. Somehow,
we’ll get through, just like we did before. You just have to tell me what it
only it were that easy, Worf thought, as he tightened his embrace.
first person Worf encountered in Ops was Benjamin Sisko.
morning, Commander,” Sisko said pleasantly, ignoring Worf’s obvious look of
back, sir,” Worf said.
course. I told you that I was only going to spend a few days on Bajor,” Sisko
said. “The Major recommended a nice bed-and-breakfast and it was wonderful.”
glad you liked it,” Kira said from her station. “That’s one of my favorite places
should go sometime, Commander,” Sisko continued. “Take Jadzia. Trust me, you
will enjoy the time together before the baby comes. Once the baby comes, you
two won’t have time for each other. Everything will be focused on the baby.
She won’t have anytime to pay attention to you.”
terribly dismal you make parenthood sound,” Kira said.
dismal about parenthood?” Dax asked as she emerged from the turbolift.
was telling Worf that he should take you down to Bajor before the baby comes,”
would be nice,” Dax said, settling herself into her chair. “But we’d have to
go soon, because I feel like I’m going to pop anytime now.”
much longer does Julian think you have to go?” Kira asked curiously. “Has he
figured it out yet?”
from four to eight more months,” Dax sighed. “I hope it’s four and not eight.
But that's the problem with interrspecies offspring: you're never quite sure
when the baby is going to make an appearance.”
if there is anything I can do for you," Kira offered. "Trust me, those last
months are very tiring and you already look exhausted."
tough, you know, with both the symbiont and a baby," Dax said. "It really drains
shook his head and moved to stand next to Worf.
are awfully quiet, Mr. Worf," Sisko said. "Is something the matter?"
Worf said. "I'm just thinking some things through."
know you're concerned about Jadzia's health; we all are. But that's no reason
to frown. Believe me, fatherhood is extremely rewarding. Difficult, but rewarding."
will keep that in mind, sir," Worf answered.
"Good," Sisko turned his attention back to Kira and Dax's conversation, much to Worf's relief. The Klingon concentrated on his work, trying to block out the conversation. Enjoy it, he tried to tell himself. But he couldn’t. And when he looked at Jadzia’s shining face, he hated himself even more for being unable to enjoy seeing her again.
anomaly is getting smaller,” Dax reported.
never was that big in the first place,” Kira said.
exactly like that anomaly you encountered near Cardassia,” Dax said. “I’ve been
running the analysis concurrently, and the wave dispersion patterns show that
it's the same disturbance.”
it dangerous though?” Sisko asked.
I don’t think so. It’s getting smaller now and I believe, at this rate, it will
disappear within a few hours.”
didn’t encounter any problems when we ran across it before,” Kira said. “It
was just there and then it was gone.”
anyone checked the Defiant’s logs?” Worf asked suddenly. "Not for data,
but for any comments the crew might have made at the time?"
but I can download them now,” Dax answered.
Worf said. “It is all right. I will go check on them myself.”
you like,” Dax answered, a perturbed expression crossing her face. Worf noticed
her unease immediately and he stopped by to touch her shoulder gently as he
see you later,” he told her gently. She nodded.
Worf left Ops and headed for the Defiant. He did not want to hurt this Jadzia but he already knew that he was in that much talked about alternate universe. Others had been here before and even he had experienced an alternate lifetime before, one which included Deanna Troi. No matter how he felt about being with Jadzia again, he knew he could not stay. For that reason, he was determined to find a way back to his own universe as soon as possible before he found himself unwilling to leave her.****
Worf tapped into the Defiant’s computers, bringing up all the data that existed about the anomaly which had been spotted near Cardassia four months previous. It had been duly noted and filed, but because it did not appear dangerous in any sense, it had been ignored for the most part.
He uploaded the latest information and compared them. As Dax had pointed out before, the anomalies were proceeding at the same rate. However, the older one had been growing larger and this particular one was growing smaller.
What did it all mean? he wondered. He did understand that this anomaly was some sort of time rift, that it was an opening to the alternate universe. It was the only explanation.“A gateway,” he said out-loud. “And the gateway is closing.”
If the rift closed, he realized, he would be left in this alternate universe. For a moment, he sat back in his seat, contemplating that. To stay and to be with Jadzia. He closed his eyes for a moment, envisioning what their life together could be like. And then, out of habit, he began talking to her.
“I would do anything to see you again,” he said. “Losing you again would be the greatest heartbreak. But I can’t stay and I don’t know to explain that to you. But just understand, that while I can’t stay, just being able to see you again -”“See who?”
Worf whirled around to see Jadzia standing behind him. She looked absolutely pale and he could not read the expression on her face. She shook her head, bringing her fingers to her lips.
all men, Worf,” she said with a gasp. “I never thought... how could you?”
then she turned and fled off the bridge.
Worf sat in shock trying to digest Jadzia’s reaction. He eyed the rift which was now growing smaller at an exponentially faster rate. He didn’t have much time left, Worf knew, but he could not leave with Jadzia thinking the worst of him.
went to find her.
He found Jadzia lying in bed, her tear-stained face pressed against the pillow.
away,” she whispered hoarsely. “I don’t want to see you.”
he knelt by the bed. “Please, let me explain.”
She sat up, brushing hair away from her eyes, “I should have guessed that’s why you’ve been so distant lately. You haven’t been the same since Cardassia. What’s her name?”“Whose name?”
“You were talking to her, on the Defiant. Talking about losing her but wanting to see her again. I know that I’m not my most attractive right now, Worf, but I never thought you would want another woman. Who is she?”
“There is no one else, Jadzia,” he said, running his fingers down her cheek in an attempt to brush away her tears. “There’s only you. Since the day we married, there’s only been you. And you’re wrong. You’re beautiful right now. And nothing could ever make me turn away from you.”
you are leaving?”
it something that I did?”
why? Why would you leave me and your baby? Worf, please. You’re not making any
Worf stood up and walked over to the window. He stared in the general direction of where the rift lay. Jadzia walked up behind him.
it something with the anomaly? Did you find something on the Defiant?”
isn’t my universe,” he began.
an original farewell speech if I ever heard one."
true. I don't belong here."
Jadzia said. "If this is about the Enterprise,..."
it's nothing like that."
what is it?"
my world, you died right after the invasion of Cardassia.” Jadzia stared at
him, her eyes growing large with fright.
your world? Then you’re the Worf from the alternate universe,” she whispered.
placed her palm against her forehead, “I don’t believe it.”
am sorry. But everything here is different than it is in my world. In my world,
you are dead and Sisko is on earth, working in his father’s restaurant. And
Keiko O’Brien is doing her best to carry out your duties.”
have to go back then.”
know just as well as I do that Starfleet regulations prohibit us from staying
in an alternate universe.”
is another Worf?”
there must be.”
he is in this universe now, where I’m dead?”
isn’t much time then. The rift is getting smaller.”
it gets much smaller, you won’t be able to go back. And he won’t be able
to return here.”
know that,” Worf eyed Jadzia intently. “Jadzia, you don’t know what it means
to me to see you here, well and happy. And that leaving you now breaks my heart.”
smiled wanely, “I don’t know what to think right now. To think that my alternate
is dead. I would not be able to return to a universe where you do not exist.”
wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. She did not resist.
he said. “Time is running out.”
On the bridge of the Defiant, Jadzia sat down to analyze the data one more time. Worf watched over her shoulder.
right about this being a gateway. But I don’t understand why this is growing
smaller,” she said. “If it was the same anomaly, it should be growing bigger.”
pulled up the wave patterns and showed them to her. She eyed them curiously.
“There is less energy here than previously,” Jadzia noted. “And each successive wave is of a lower frequency and amplitude. I imagine that means whatever reaction should have happened has happened.”
you think it has to do with the fact that the rift is growing smaller?”
curious in itself. As far as we can tell, the rift itself is benign. Except
that it apparently is a porthole between universes.”
“Jadzia,” Worf said quietly. “You said earlier that I had been acting strangely since returning from Cardassia. And you have been saying things all along about me pushing you away. What did you mean?”
She shrugged, “Just that you’ve been a little distant since Cardassia. Even when we went to Casperia Prime, you seemed at unease. I mean, the other Worf was uneasy with me. Why?”
“Because, we encountered the anomaly with no consequences near Cardassia,” Worf said.
“Or no consequences that we could decipher when we returned.”
you encountered the anomaly again, you ended up here,” Jadzia said slowly.
“Therefore there must be have been a reaction before,” Worf said, barely able to keep the excitement out of his voice.
“Are you saying that you think that you and the other Worf switched places then? Four months ago?” Jadzia asked.
“I don’t know. Does it make sense to you?”
“It would explain the lower energy level outputs. The universe is back to normal and everyone is back where they should be, so the rift is closing in on itself.”
“So if I slipped into the alternate universe near Cardassia,” Worf said quietly. “Then by returning here, I’m where I am supposed to be.”
“It would appear so,” Jadzia answered in that same hushed tone.
At that moment the rift disappeared completely.
“I guess we have a lot of catching up to do,” Jadzia said softly.
“Isn’t that weird?” Kira asked. She and Dax had met for their afternoon raktijinio at the replimat and Dax had just finished telling Kira about the alternate universe Worf.
“A bit,” Dax confessed. “Because the father of my child isn’t really technically the man I married, but
genetically...but this Worf is the man I married.”
“It’s a riddle for Bashir, I suppose,” Kira sighed.
“I know that Worf and I will be fine. It’s a lot for him to get used to, but I think everything will be fine.”
“Have you thought about the other Worf at all?”
Dax nodded, “I do feel awful about that. But what can I do?”
Kira sighed, “That’s the thing with alternate universes. It’s so vague, you know?”
“All I know is that Worf and I have a lot of work to do before the baby comes. We have four months to catch up on.”
“How does he feel about the baby?”
“I don’t know, really. I think he understands that genetically, it is his baby, but technically it’s not. But we both want a child badly and I know he will love this baby as his own, no matter what.”
“That’s at least a relief.”
"Worf has always had a heightened sense of duty and honor. He won't change now. I hope."
"What about the rest of us?"
"What do you mean?"
"When we encountered that anomaly near Cardassia, did we all -"
"Switch into alternate universes? No," Dax answered. "We already asked Julian about that. None of us show a phase shift in cellular activity. Only Worf does."
"That's certainly good news," Kira said.
"According to Worf, things are not going well in the alternate universe," Dax shuddered. "We're losing heavily against the Dominion, he says. And the Prophets have been silenced."
"Makes you wonder about our counterparts," Kira said softly. "How they are coping."
"I know. Worf says it's really day by day there. Tough. Really tough."
"He must be glad to be here then, you think?"
“Yes,” Dax said. “But it is weird, isn’t it?”
“Just a bit,” Kira laughed a bit uneasily. “Just a bit.”
~ FIVE MONTHS LATER ~
“Did I tell you that we’re never doing this again?” Jadzia asked one morning. She was lying in bed, completely exhausted by the mere activity of opening her eyes. “We’re never having another child. I refuse to be pregnant for an undetermined amount of time again.”
Worf hovered over her, holding a tray with her breakfast on it. He placed it on the small nightstand next to her bed. The picture of the two of them at Casperia Prime still sat by the bed, but he and Jadzia had agreed to return to Casperia after the baby was born, for a second honeymoon. Keiko O’Brien and Kira had both volunteered to babysit for them. At this very moment, there was nothing Jadzia wanted more than to be lounging under the shady trees at Casperia.“Let me help you sit up,” Worf said. He arranged her pillows for her and then helped her sit up.
“Do you think she’s okay?” Jadzia asked in concern. She paced the length of the room, knitting her hands together. Worf laughed at her and grabbed her arm. “She’s only two months old, Worf. I don’t know if we should have left her like this.”“Come here,” he said. Jadzia settled on his knee, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“You better not,” she said, turning her face up towards his. Worf lowered his lips towards hers.In the slow-motion seconds before their lips actually met, the photographer snapped the picture.
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