Ezri Dax belongs to Paramount. The story and the character of Aura Lee belong to me.
This is dedicated to the ten percent of us in the world who are left-handed and also to those, who like me, are still trying to figure out exactly what the heck is going on…
This story was written sometime in the fall of 1998 around the first time Ezri made an appearance on DS9.
Her eyes flew open and the first thing she noticed was that even the ceiling panels looked different this morning.
She lay there, her arms by her side, hands fisted, trying hard to keep those uncontrollable tears from squeezing out from her eyes.
"I'm not going to cry," she said out-loud.
But of course - as she was fast learning - it didn't matter what she wanted; there were eight other lives inside of her with their own emotions, compulsions and quirks.
"You can do this," Ezri Dax said as she sat up in bed. She pulled the blanket to her chest, holding the thin, wool material tightly in her hands.
She took a look around her quarters, thinking that it looked curiously different. Everything was in its place, nothing new had been added, yet it was all strange to her. The familiar things - things that she could not remember but longed for - were not available to her.
"This is crazy," Ezri sighed. She got out of bed, carelessly throwing the covers aside. She moved across to her closet and pulled out her uniform. At least this was familiar, she thought, as she got dressed. She reached for the brush as she stood in front of the mirror.
"Fifty strokes," she said to herself and then shook her head. "Fifty strokes, now where did that come from?"
And then, Ezri laughed to herself, "And why do I ask anymore?"
She put on her shoes, noticing for the first time that it was her left hand that was more dominant. She sat up, looking at her hands, turning them up to her face.
"So," Ezri said without a trace of irony. "I'm left-handed now. I wondered which one of them was left-handed?"
And then she knew, as if it were second nature to her: Lela.
She got up and left her quarters; she was glad because the walls were starting to close in on her.
As she walked down the halls of the Destiny, Ezri noted that others were looking at her strangely; she didn't blame them.
"I would be looking at me strangely too," she thought.
Ezri made her way to the counselor's office, knowing that the counselor was eager to see her.
Aura Lee, who held the rank of Commander, was sitting behind the wide expanse of her desk, going over some reports when Ezri entered.
It was odd seeing Aura now, Ezri thought. Before, Aura had just been a counselor, a friend and now she was seeing Aura as a strikingly beautiful woman. Ezri shook her head, trying to push Curzon's thoughts out of her head.
"Hi," Aura said. "How do you feel? Doctor Gilbert said the operation went as well as expected."
"It did," Ezri sat in front of Aura. "I feel odd."
"That's to be expected."
"No, I mean, really odd."
"In what way?"
"It's like I keep hearing these voices in my head and then I do things that I don't understand," Ezri tried to keep the whine out of her voice, but a plaintive note did creep into her voice.
"Well, I can tell you one thing right away," Aura said. "I noticed that you walk different. You look taller."
"Yes. I think it's the way you're holding your hands behind your back."
Ezri looked down at her hands, "I think Jadzia used to hold her hands like that. She never really knew what to do with them. And I guess it was also because she was so tall; she was always so self-conscious about her height."
"Is it her memories that are bothering you so much?"
"Hers are the most vivid, yes," Ezri admitted. "And Curzon. Someone named Joran is in there too and Verad? Yes, Verad. And of course, all the rest: Emony, Lela, Ardred, and God, I can't remember the rest. What's the matter with me?"
Aura reached across the table to stroke Ezri's hand, "It's confusing, I know. But you'll figure it out."
"All my friends are avoiding me. They say they don't know me anymore. And I understand that; I don't even know myself anymore."
"It's only been a week, Ezri. Of course things seem strange right now."
"Very strange. It's like my thoughts aren't even my own anymore. My actions don't even belong to me. It's all so… peculiar."
Aura said, "I wish I could understand."
"And that's the problem." Ezri said. "You don't understand. No one does. Maybe I should go back to Trill."
"If you think that will help…"
"I don't know what will help right now. At the time, when Doctor Gilbert insisted I take the symbiont, I thought it was the right thing to do. That's how we think of Trill. The symbiont always comes first. And I knew I wasn't prepared, but I didn't expect this. I didn't expect to wake up crying every morning and I certainly never expected to be left-handed all of a sudden. I don't know what to think anymore."
"Well, maybe then Trill is the best place for you," Aura said firmly. "I don't know how much I can help you. I've never met a joined Trill before, to be honest."
"What about my career? I was hoping…"
"I think you will be fine," Aura said softly. "I think you just need time to get on your feet. Once that happens, you will be able to continue in Starfleet."
"I hope so," Ezri sighed. "At least that's one thing I have in common with Jadzia: our careers were important to both of us."
Later, Ezri retired to her quarters, her head a jumble of thoughts and voices which kept interfering with her own private thoughts.
"I've got to do something about this," Ezri said.
Sleeping, she found, did nothing to stop the voices. In the middle of the night, she sat up, sweat dripping down her face. She pressed her hand to heart, trying to erase the Cardassian's face from her mind.
"Dukat," she breathed. "My God."
And there were other feelings rising up in her. Love. Joy. Happiness. Fear.
"Jadzia's last days," Ezri got out of bed and began to pace. "It's got to stop, I can't keep living those days over and over."
There were other things she remember too and most cruelly of all, Worf. Worf.
"I don't even know him!" Ezri cried in despair. "How can I love someone I don't know? This is insane. How can I do this?"
She reminded herself of what Aura had said earlier; it had only been a week since the operation.
A week that seemed like a lifetime. Eight lifetimes to be precise.
"I can't do this," she moaned. "Just make it all stop, please make it all stop."
But those voices - Jadzia's and Curzon's especially - kept jumbling up inside of her.
She could feel Jadzia's tremendous hopes for a baby, her joy at learning the news that yes, she could have a child, and then that terrible feeling of the cold floor beneath her dying body.
And worse, the wondering. Would Worf get here so she could see him one last time?
Ezri shook her head. She knew Aura could not help her. Nice and effective as she was, Aura really did not know how to deal with this new Ezri and Ezri did not blame the counselor.
"What to do next?" Ezri pondered. And then the answers came to her. For once, she was pleased that Jadzia's memories came back so clearly to her.
And with that thought so clear in her mind, Ezri began to pack her bag. She did not know what sort of reception she would receive from Benjamin Sisko but she - well, Dax - knew what kind of man he was.
"If anyone can help me, he can," Ezri said.
And for the first time in a week, Ezri felt hopeful. She pressed her hand to her abdomen, in an attempt to calm the symbiont.
"Somehow we'll make it," Ezri consoled the traumatized symbiont. "We'll make it. I promise not to let you down. I promise that. It might take time, but we'll do it. Together."
And with these thoughts in her head - thoughts that were completely her own - she was finally able to sleep.
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