Characters and places belong to Paramount but the story is all mine.
Note: Written before the season seven premiere. Reformatted 01/02/01.
It was a day like any other day, Kira Nerys told herself as she stepped out of the turbolift into Ops. It was a little quiet, she thought, but that was probably because the night shift was just finishing up their duties and they were tired. She glanced involuntarily at the science station, at the blue-uniformed Starfleet officer who had manned that console for the last duty roster.
paused for a moment, glancing around, assuring herself that everything was as
it should be.
But somehow, she could not calm the jitters in her stomach.
she leaned over the rail, she saw the familiar back of a head rising above a
Kira nodded, trying to get used to the new title, this still very uncomfortable elevation in rank. Somehow, she thought, I don’t feel any different now that I’m a colonel. I’m still the same old Kira Nerys.
Well, on the outside, anyway, she was the still the same. The inside, she thought, was still a mess of what Terrans would refer to as “nerves.”
are you doing here so early?” Kira asked, grasping the railing tightly, her
fingers pale and bloodless from the intensity of her grip.
a couple diagnostics. There are always things to be done and I don’t want to
O’Brien hesitated for a moment. “I couldn’t sleep.”
for the same reason I couldn’t either.”
I thought I would come down here and get some work done. It beats pacing the
floor back in my quarters. Any word?”
O’Brien did not have to be specific about what he meant; Kira knew exactly what he was referring to.
ship should arrive sometime this afternoon,” she answered.
“I won’t keep you,” Kira said. She headed towards what had been Sisko’s office and now belonged to her. She paused in the doorway, thinking that six years ago, she had greeted Deep Space Nine’s new commander with the words, “I suppose you want the office now.”
At the time, she had been grudging to the Starfleet officer, thinking that the Federation’s presence near Bajor was unnecessary. Now, as Kira slid into her chair, laying her hands flat on the solid desk, she really wished that Sisko was here.
“You fit this office better than I ever did,” Kira said out-loud, hoping that Sisko could hear her. Of course, New Orleans in Louisiana back on Earth was quite a distance; such a distance that Kira had to drag out a stellar map to locate it.
was a brief pause and then, “Odo here.”
are you doing?”
in my office, just going over the latest crime reports.”
smiled to herself, “What has Quark done now?”
you want something, Colonel?”
Even with the change in their relationship, Odo could be so maddeningly formal, Kira thought.
I just wanted to hear your voice.”
you all right?”
just feel a little strange.”
There was another pause and Kira could hear the comlink connecting them crackle; it was almost as if she could hear the sound of Odo’s thoughts.
is a day like any other day,” Odo said firmly. “And you should treat her as
you would treat any new crew member.”
trying to tell myself that, but this hollow in my stomach keeps growing. It’s
making me nervous.”
your meditation exercises.”
should. I wonder what Sisko would have done.”
isn’t here,” Odo said gently. “The real question here is, what will Kira
nodded, even though Odo would not be able to see the gesture.
just business as usual,” she answered finally.
I will meet you at the replimat at the usual time.”
O’Brien aimed the dart carefully, aware that once again, Bashir was winning.
won’t let you have this round,” the Irishman told the doctor.
Bashir shrugged his elegant shoulders, “See if you can win it.”
don’t know why I insist on playing this game with a genetically-” O’Brien began
but Bashir interrupted him.
like the challenge of it,” Julian reminded him.
did you know I was going to say that?”
say it everyday.”
dart hit just outside the bull’s eye, once again giving Bashir the win.
sit down,” Bashir said, as he collected the darts. “I’m actually feeling a little
didn’t sleep well yesterday.”
too? Kira didn’t either nor did I.”
“I was trying to figure out what to say,” Bashir confessed as he led the way to an empty table. “I actually tried practicing things to say to her when she comes here too. I’m quite concerned about what will come out of my mouth when she does finally arrive.”“Me too. And I think Kira is too.”
“I thought about introducing myself,” Bashir said, sitting down at a secluded table. “But I don’t believe that’s necessary. And I thought, maybe I would ask her how she was feeling, but then that isn’t quite right either. I thought about asking what was new and that just seemed a little out of place, given the circumstances. Honestly, I cannot think of what would be approriate.”
can I. And I’ve tossed everything about in my head until it’s a bloody mess.”
thinks it’s just normal, that everything is normal.”
“I don’t care what Odo thinks,” O’Brien retorted. “He tends to look at everything practically. Emotionally, this transition, this change, means nothing to him."
find that hard to believe.”
look at him,” O’Brien pointed to where the shapeshifter was sitting watching
cares,” Bashir declared. “We all care.”
do you know what you’re going to say?”
shook his head, “I guess I’ll know when the time comes, right?”
O’Brien lifted his drink. “At least, we can hope that.”
“Business is booming like never before. Nothing like a good war to stir things up,” Quark said with satisfaction. The constable eyed him with suspicion.“You have been extremely law-abiding lately, Quark,” Odo said. “Something the matter?”
Quark shrugged, the material of his shiny coat rippling red and orange in the garish lights of his bar.
heart’s not into crime anymore,” Quark said cheerfully. “The straight and narrow,
a Ferengi without profit...”
no Ferengi at all,” Quark finished. “I never said I didn’t have profit.”
keeping an eye on you, Quark,” Odo said sternly.
wouldn’t want it any other way.”
turned to walk away but then Quark called him back.
turned, “What is it?”
you thought about her at all?” Quark asked in a low voice.
considered the question, “Some, yes.”
edged up to Odo, “What are you going to do?”
looked at Quark for a long moment, appraising the Ferengi shrewdly.
don’t know what to do,” Odo confessed finally. “Be nice, I suppose.”
that, the constable stalked off, leaving the Ferengi staring after him.
nice?” Quark mused. “What kind of answer is that?”
“The Mirabelle has requested permission to dock,” O’Brien called out as Kira emerged from her office. Kira nodded, taking a deep breath.“Permission granted,” she said, trying to keep her voice steady. “Where is Dr. Bashir?”
“Right here, Colonel,” the clipped British accent said from behind her. The Bajoran turned to look at her friend.
see I’m just in time,” Bashir said.
go ahead,” Kira told Bashir and O’Brien. “I will meet you there. There’s something
I have to do first.”
and O’Brien nodded, both grateful that Kira had taken on a burden that neither
of them wanted to bear.
Bashir and O’Brien stood outside the airlock. Minutes later, Odo joined them and then, Quark and Leeta.“Hi,” Bashir said.
“Hi,” Leeta answered, a little shyly. Today, her clothing was a little more subdued and less revealing. Her eyes even seemed a little larger than usual. Quark was curiously tight-lipped, bouncing from one foot to another.
stop,” Bashir told the Ferengi. “That is a most annoying habit at a time like
heard the familiar sounds of a starship docking.
O’Brien cleared his throat. “Um, I guess, the wait, I guess it’s over.”
just hope I say the right thing,” Bashir said.
fervently, the others were echoing the sentiment.
Kira climbed the stairs, feeling all the energy dissipate from her muscles. She paused for a moment outside the holosuite, thinking how much she did not want to go in. Finally, she summoned her courage and entered. She had expected some Klingon battle or some hunt, but she did not expect a lush jungle, serene in its lush greenery.
she called out.
heard a branch break and she followed the sound, her hearing honed by years
in the resistance.
she called again.
found the Klingon sitting in a small clearing. He looked up at her, almost startled.
sorry if I disturbed you,” Kira said gently, sitting down on what remained of
a tree stump.
is of no consequence.”
is this place?”
“Before she was wounded, Dax and I were in this clearing, listening to the mating calls of some animal,” Worf answered. “At that moment, we were so happy together. It was as if nothing else existed in the world but the two of us and those animals who had found each other. And I think Jadzia and I really understood each other then. More than ever.”
all miss her, Worf.”
nodded, not speaking.
come to tell you that Ezri is here,” Kira said finally. “Would you like to come
to greet her?”
did not answer right away, but then he said quietly, “Maybe later. Maybe privately.”
Kira touched his shoulder and then left the holosuite without looking back on the jungles of Soukara. There wasn’t much time left, she thought as she headed to the airlock, and she had to find something to say.
She approached her friends, who had clustered around the airlock, half in anticipation, half in fear. They were looking at her, expecting her to take the lead.
waiting was over, Kira thought as she saw Ezri emerge from the airlock.
Kira stepped forward. “Welcome to Deep Space Nine, Counselor.”
August 19, 1998
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