DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of C. Zdroj and are copyright (c) 1999 by C. Zdroj. This story is Rated NC-17.

Touch
by C. Zdroj

Winner: ASCEM GO Awards 2003: 2nd Place, Best Odo/Kira Story
Chronology Note: This story takes place some time after the ST:DS9 episode "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River."
Rated NC-17 for weird changeling sex practices, including some gender-bendy stuff.


~~~

She was doing it again.

Odo focused his stare on the tactical chart at the front of the room and set his face into what he hoped was a grim expression. Kira's fingertips went on with their insidious work, circling his left kneecap, moving up and down over the simulated fabric of his simulated trousers in an aimless, affectionate way. He could feel the very molecules of his substance being disarranged as those fingers moved. The surface of his knee began to grow slick, the better to feel his lover's touch. His substance expanded and contracted slowly, in time with the rhythm of her meditative strokes ... He closed his eyes. Captain Sisko's voice droned on meaninglessly. Odo was only aware of that gentle, stimulating pressure, those few square centimeters of jellified flesh under Kira's hand. He held very still. Oh dear Prophets ... I'm not going to ...

And then her fingertips withdrew.

A soft gasp escaped him. He opened his eyes to find DS9's entire senior staff--including Kira--staring at him.

"Everything all right, Constable?" Sisko asked pointedly.

"I--um--yes." Odo was fervently glad not to be a solid just then, and that the flush of heat he felt in his cheeks was purely psychosomatic. "I'm probably nearing my regeneration cycle," he lied.

No good. The stares now focused on both him and Nerys. It was well known that they'd spent all of last night together.

"Perhaps you should make sure that you get some rest the night before a staff briefing," said Sisko with no trace of a grin. Odo thought he heard Bashir stifle a laugh, and would gladly have strangled the doctor in that moment.

"Yes sir," mumbled the mortified changeling.

"In any event--we're adjourned," said Sisko. "Odo--maybe you should go and catch up on your sleep."

The room took a few minutes clearing out, and then, as always, Odo and Kira were left together in the silence.

She studied his scowling face for several moments. "What is it?" she asked. "What did I do now?"

"As if you didn't know," he snorted. "Why were you touching me like ... like that in the middle of a meeting?"

"Like what?" She looked baffled.

"The same way you were touching me last night at Quark's--the way that tells my tactile receptors I'm five seconds away from an orgasm."

Kira had to squelch the laughter that threatened to burst out of her. "Odo, I had my hand on your knee. I always do that. Of course, you were a little overstimulated last night."

"I beg your pardon," he retorted, "but you got me overstimulated last night."

He suddenly recalled the incident very sharply--a secluded table at the back of Quark's, and Nerys, after far too much tequila, tracing deliberate, sensuous little designs into his upturned palm and then up the sleeve of his tuxedo jacket to his tie. He almost shivered with the recollection of pleasure.

Kira smiled knowingly. "That was fun, wasn't it? So exactly what did I do with my hands just now that was so ... interesting?"

"I'm not sure what you thought you were doing--but the molecules in my knee are still tingling."

"Hmmm ... I'll have to remember that technique," she purred, "-- for coaxing you into corners when you least expect it ..." She leaned in for a kiss. Odo almost held back out of sheer irritation, but he knew that resistance was pointless. He closed his eyes, and soon his lips were tingling as fiercely as his knee. He exhaled sharply when Kira finally drew away, and for several moments he held absolutely still, feeling his whole being vibrate, before opening his eyes again.

"Meet me in the replimat for lunch?" asked Kira, her voice husky and her dark eyes smoldering.

Odo nodded helplessly, suddenly wanting nothing so much as to seize her and make love to her right then and there on the wardroom table.

****

"What kept you?" he snapped as she took the seat across from him several hours later.

Kira looked startled by the outburst. "Some Starfleet admiral on the com line. I'm only five minutes late, Odo."

"Oh," the changeling's simple, angular face went blank for a moment. "I--I guess I've been logging too many reports today--it felt like I was sitting here for longer than that, somehow." He tried unsuccessfully to smile. "Maybe it's the chairs--they're not very comfortable."

Kira's expression was one of frank concern. "Are you sure you're feeling all right? I'm not sure exactly what it is, but you look ... a little blurred around the edges or ... something. Maybe you should see Julian."

Odo drew himself upright, his typical ramrod-straight posture asserting itself. "I'm fine--and Dr. Bashir wouldn't know the first thing about it if I weren't," he said testily.

"If you say so --" Kira watched in apprehension as he squirmed in his chair. Odo didn't normally fidget, in fact she had often envied his capacity for complete stillness. He was anything but still at the moment. She watched worriedly as his eyes tracked one of the replimat diners carrying a steaming bowl of soup back to a corner table. "You know it's the oddest thing," Odo lowered his voice to a kind of confessional whisper, "but somehow I feel ... almost ... hungry--almost as if I were humanoid again."

Kira reached across the table for his hand. Odo shut his eyes and drew a deep breath, clutching her fingers. For a moment she thought he'd never let go.

"Odo?" she tried to keep the panic out of her voice.

"Yes," he breathed, clearly in some kind of trance.

"Is something wrong?"

"I don't know." His eyes opened to stare at her. "Prophets, you look beautiful Nerys." He paused, looking reflectively down at their still-joined hands. "And you feel even better." His fingers liquified for a split second to engulf her own. It was a deliciously sensual touch, she almost gasped in pleasure herself, but realizing where she was, she yanked her hand away, and Odo's fingers snapped back into solidity.

She looked at him accusingly. "Odo--this is a public place," she hissed.

"So was Quark's," he sounded almost confused.

"Yes but--it was ... dark," Kira fumbled. "And I was drunk," she added with more conviction.

He looked shamed, and Kira instantly regretted her ill-considered words.

"Look--never mind," she said. "Why don't we have this discussion in my quarters?"

"Could we?" he asked, sounding almost absurdly grateful. His eyes and voice were full of desperate longing.

"I think we'd better," said Kira.

****

He avoided so much as brushing against her on the way to her quarters, carefully maintaining his rigid posture and keeping his arms at his sides, a facsimile of the old, repressed Odo from her early days on DS9. Yet Kira knew this was an illusion. She could almost feel the waves of tension and desire radiating from her partner as they walked down corridor after corridor, stood waiting for the turbolift, held themselves apart from each other while waiting for it to stop and let them out in the habitat ring.

When they finally got to her rooms, Kira found her hands were shaking. She felt like a thief, an intruder, as she keyed in her own lock code. She was aware of Odo, trembling at her shoulder when the door finally slid aside to let them in.

Kira turned abruptly and seized his hands in both of her own the minute she was over the threshold. They were warm and solid, but wildly unstable somehow. She felt matter flowing beneath the surface of his skin. His eyes were closed in concentration. For a moment, she was terrified. She had not seen him looking so distant, so completely "gone" from himself since that very first link with the female changeling, three years ago, on the Founders' homeworld. She would have pulled her hands away, but Odo was holding them tightly, seeming to concentrate on them. So instead, she leaned forward and kissed his temple.

"Odo," she whispered. "Can you hear me?"

"Yes," he breathed, a drawn-out whisper. His eyes were closed. There was a pause, and then he spoke again. "Nerys ... please help me ..."

"Show me how," she replied. Disturbed but already in synch with him somehow, she closed her eyes as well and moments later felt his essence flow over her hands. She wasn't certain which of them moved forward, but suddenly she was kissing him, as passionately as that first day on the promenade. Coherent thought shifted into a blur of tactile sensation and raw need. She lost her uniform as if by magic, felt Odo's hands peeling it away, sliding fluidly down her bare skin all the way past her hips. Tumbled onto her unmade bed, she let him finish undressing her. The duty boots were discarded with brisk efficiency, her plain white panties shed like part of an old skin, and the red jumpsuit finally came away completely from where it had bunched up around her ankles. She inhaled and felt her lungs expand as the cool air and Odo's warm hands caressed her naked body.

Appetite guiding her own hands, she pulled Odo's head down to her, fingers tangling in his silky hair, her mouth seeking his in an urgent kiss. She felt him shifting as her touch roved over his body, rough fabric blurring into liquid and then into smooth skin and then into liquid again, back and forth, now solid and now fluid. His hands, his kisses, traveled almost feverishly over her body, as though he were memorizing the texture of her skin. She felt the warmth of his semi-fluid touch against her lips, inside her mouth, and down her neck in rapid, eager succession, and then against the aching nipples of her breasts. His desire seeped into and absorbed her body as though he expected to find nourishment there. He, the changeling who had never needed to consume food, now devoured her like one starving. Kira was sharply aware of his need. It was a tangible presence between them, vibrating under the surface of his ever-changing skin. It sang through her body even while she lay unmoving beneath him, moaning softly, just letting him have her, her body a mere vessel.

His essence flowed between her thighs, washing over her, licking slowly at her center and filling the soft, deep place that led to her womb. She was incoherent with pleasure. His hands pooled under the small of her back, reformed and stroked up her spine to clutch her shoulders, to crush her against his chest, as he rose up on the bed, morphing into a semi-fluid column of pure light--not flesh and blood at all, for a moment not even vaguely humanoid. He was suddenly entwined around her body like ivy embracing a tree--entangled and embedded in her flesh. She couldn't have released him had she wished it--but nothing could have been further from her thoughts, if thoughts they were. Kira screamed when she hit her climax, her fingers digging fiercely into Odo's re-solidified back. She felt the shudder that traveled the length of his body as he pressed his mouth into her shoulder, muffling what sounded like a cry of pain.

Then there was a moment of weightlessness and softening, in which she could feel again the tenderness of her swollen nipples pressed to his chest, the blood flow throbbing in the ends of her fingers and toes, her own breathing. She was conscious of the sweat that had collected between her thighs and breasts. Her body was hers again. She kissed Odo's shoulder. He went rigid for a moment and then sagged, his energy spent. He lowered her, with infinite care, back onto the bed and then collapsed on top of her.

Still catching her breath, Kira began, very slowly, to move her hands along her lover's smooth back. Her fingertips were now peculiarly sensitive. She felt the illusion of his ribs, his spine, his shoulder blades beneath the silky skin. "Are you okay?" she whispered.

It was a moment or two before he could respond verbally. "I--I am now." Then she heard the shame come welling into his voice. "Oh, Nerys ... I'm so sorry. I wasn't ..."

"Shhhh ..." she smiled. "It was wonderful."

She went on gently stroking him. He lay still, accepting the offered solace.

"I don't know what happened to me," he said hoarsely. "I just--I just needed so badly to feel you. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since this morning."

"You said it felt like ... hunger?"

"And thirst--and fire." He buried his face in her hair. "I just--needed to quiet it."

"Something tells me you need to see a doctor," said Kira softly.

This time he didn't argue.

****

Julian stared at his readings in perplexity. "And this has never happened before?"

"I think I'd remember pretty clearly if it had, doctor," said Odo sourly. He was sitting on the biobed, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Kira stood behind him, carefully not touching her lover.

"It began yesterday morning?"

"Yes," grated Odo.

"And your ... tactile sensitivity has been steadily increasing since then?"

"It has--but it's not just that. I'm feeling physical ... needs that--that seem overpowering. Very similar to those I felt as a solid ... only--more intense." Kira could see that he was struggling to confess this, that he found the information not only embarrassing but disgusting.

Experimentally, Julian drew one finger gently across the shoulder of Odo's facsimile tunic. Odo gasped and closed his eyes. Kira saw a trail of glistening fluid briefly indicating the path the doctor's finger had traced. It took Odo some moments to breathe normally again. "I really wish you wouldn't do that, doctor," he grated. "If you don't want me throwing myself on you."

Julian flushed, then returned to his tricorder readings under Kira's glare. "This may be a complete shot in the dark Constable, given my limited knowledge of changeling physiology, but I wonder if you're not experiencing a fertility cycle."

"A what?" chorused Odo and Kira together.

"Changeling puberty. Your first ... period. Sexual awakening. Of course, I have no idea how these things work for changelings, but the heightened sensitivity and increased irritability certainly seem ... parallel to what a lot of humanoid females experience when they become fertile."

"Are you saying he's having what they call PNS?" asked Kira, incredulous.

"P-M-S --" corrected Bashir. "Well, I can't say that definitively. It's only a guess--but if that is what's happening then it's natural and nothing to worry about."

"And if it's not?" asked Odo, clearly alarmed.

"Well--you're not in any pain are you?"

"No--but doctor--I can't do my job in this state. I can't touch a damned data padd without getting ... aroused." There was desperate panic in the changeling's voice.

Julian fought to suppress a smile. "Well then in that case you'd better stay home--and perhaps Nerys should stay with you to ah ... help alleviate some of the symptoms--but I'd advise the two of you not to ... overdo anything."

They both glared at him.

****

Odo's famished, excited groans were so sharp Kira was certain they could be heard halfway round the habitat ring. This was their fourth time in as many hours. "Oh, gods--Nerys ..." They were on the floor now. Her hands moved over him gently. Odo came to climax so forcefully and so immediately that it almost frightened her.

"I'm sorry," he gasped, catching his breath.

"Stop apologizing. It's okay." She kissed his cheek. She was kneeling behind him, her arms encircling his waist. Her fingertips went on gently stimulating him, moving over his smooth chest and leaving trails of amber fluid that closed up behind them. At first, she'd felt eerily as if she were hurting him, what with his gasping and the warm, organic wetness under her fingers--as if she were rending his lovely, smooth skin. Even his cries of pleasure were so intense that they seemed like cries of pain. But he had begged her not to stop, and so she continued, patiently, slowly and with careful hands, soothing and appeasing the tyrant of his need. Now, as he caught his breath, they rocked together in a sensuous rhythm, her cheek resting in the crook between his neck and shoulder.

"It's not going to work, Nerys" he whispered, after a while. "It's no good."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean --" His hands moved down his own chest, slowly, tentatively, until they came to rest over his abdomen--"I'm ..." he struggled to find the word, "... empty, Nerys. Empty." The words sounded almost like a mantra. "I know that doesn't make sense," he whispered, "but that's what it feels like." Odo shut his eyes and leaned back against her, exhausted. After a moment he went on. "Dr. Bashir was right. I'm almost certain of it now. I'm supposed to be ... carrying. Only I can't do it without the Link. There's no way to --"

Kira stiffened. "Are you saying that--that your body is," she was almost afraid to say the words. "Trying to get ... pregnant?"

Odo's voice was dull with weariness. "I think so." After a moment or two he said. "You know you don't have to do this, Nerys--I'm sure that I can find some other forms of ..." He grimaced. "... tactile stimulation."

"And miss all the fun?" Kira teased, lightly fingering his damp, semi-melted hair. "I wouldn't dream of it. I'm not walking out of here just so you can make love to the prayer mandala." They both laughed softly at the semi-blasphemous bit of humor.

She covered his hands with her own, then gently slid hers underneath to touch his belly in a sympathetic caress. She could still remember, very vividly, the sense of carrying Yoshi within her, the sense of purpose that her body had had then--and the sense of emptiness after his departure. She knew that for Odo, this was also another painful reminder that his species was dying.

"I'm sorry about the Link," she whispered. "I know it's not much consolation--but, the other day--the first time you needed me so badly--I felt very ... joined to you just then--like we were part of each other." She laughed ironically. "Actually I feel pretty well joined to you now. But I know it's not the same as a link."

Touched, he took her hand in his slick, waxy fingers and raised it to equally waxy lips. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Kira smiled. She let her hands move gently over the soft skin, kissed his temple again, and then asked. "Is there a ... place where you would keep it? A baby--I mean?" she asked.

He seemed to struggle for a moment to explain. "Well, it's not ... stationary, but there is a kind of structure that sort of formed itself. That's how I can tell there's nothing inside."

She thought for a moment, not really sure where the idea was coming from. "Can you ... can you open that structure up?"

"I don't know. Why would I?"

Kira shivered a little at the thought. She brought her lips close to his ear. "So I can touch you there," she whispered, suddenly very taken with the intimacy of the idea. "As long as it's safe, I mean."

Odo shut his eyes. She could see that the notion appealed to him too. After a moment or two of concentration, he whispered, "My thighs."

Kira lowered her hand to reach gently between his legs, and in doing so, she grasped exactly what Odo had done. Using her own female humanoid body as a model, he had pushed his own "womb" down into his abdomen and created a canal leading to it. She smiled. "I don't think I've ever made love to another woman before."

He laughed softly. Her fingers gently began to explore the small passage. It tightened to caress her and they both gasped at the same moment. "It's all right," she soothed, "I won't hurt you."

"It--it doesn't want to open," he panted, "I'm going to have to --"

"Relax," she said. "Take a deep breath." He did so. "We trust each other, don't we?"

"Yes."

"Then just drop the barriers. Let them fall." She felt him go fluid. She pushed up cautiously within him. Her fingers and then her entire hand was immersed in his substance, and then slid gently through a kind of semi-solid wall of tissue, of thicker consistency than the rest. Odo groaned deeply and fell forward to his hands and knees, trembling. "Don't ... stop," he rasped. Kira was terrified that she was hurting him, but could not have retracted her hand had she wished. The wall of tissue had closed firmly around her wrist. So she moved her fingers very carefully, ticking through the thickness of her partner's liquid self. Odo moaned again and then his whole body became translucent gold, though still a roughly humanoid shape. Kira was awestruck for a moment by the shimmering vision of a genderless, featureless being straining to give birth ... to itself perhaps--and she the midwife, with her hand inside its womb. There were no more vocalizations, but she felt Odo's gelatinous form tremble and then contract violently around her.

And then her beloved collapsed to the floor in a shapeless pool, shivering for a moment with the strain of his recent effort, and then going still.

****

Kira pulled a blanket from the bed and lay herself on the floor beside Odo's liquid form. She curled herself around him and drew the blanket over them both, gratified to feel the warmth of the silken fluid that was her lover drawing slowly against her, into the curve of her body between her drawn-up knees and her chest. She barely had time to contemplate her relief before sleep claimed her.

She woke the next morning to feel Odo still curled around her, in humanoid form now, dozing contentedly with his head on her shoulder. Feeling protective, she reached out to claim his hand, felt him lean in and kiss her forehead.

"Nerys --" he whispered, "Thank you."

"Feel better now?"

"I feel ..." He laid his head back on her shoulder. "I feel like I've just eaten a very large meal and never want to move again."

"Great. I gave you indigestion."

"No. I think that perhaps you just hit some 'trigger mechanism' last night when you ... when you ... touched me. Something that told my body that it didn't need to ...."

"Keep rutting all night?" she smiled.

"Was it horrible?"

"Only when I thought I might be hurting you."

He cupped her cheek to look into her eyes. "You never did."

He kissed her again, and safe in each other's embrace, they went back to sleep for another five hours.

****

"Well, I've never seen anything like this before."

Odo rolled his eyes. "You always say that. Like what, doctor?" he asked impatiently.

"Like these readings that I just took from you. I don't know how to explain it, but as near as I can tell, there are two distinct changeling life-forms in this room--both inside your surface."

Odo looked shocked and then discomfited. He glared at Julian. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

Bashir grinned. "Yes. You're pregnant, Constable. Congratulations."

Odo looked down at his still-flat abdomen in complete bafflement. "But how ...?"

"Now there I have no idea, but it seems I owe Kira some congratulations as well. As near as I can tell from these readings--she's the father."

"Very funny. Need I remind you that Kira is not a changeling?"

"No doubt the Prophets have chosen to intervene: a miraculous birth to serve their own mysterious purposes."

He was teasing, but Odo was not in a mood for humor. "That's not a comforting thought," he sighed.

"Take a look for yourself."

Bashir thrust a padd into his hands that showed Odo an animated x-ray of his own insides. Sure enough, there was an independent little "glob of goo" swimming around inside his own mass.

His voice lowered in awe. "But I didn't even feel it there."

Julian patted his shoulder, "Must be that all your heightened sensitivity vanished as soon as this little fellow appeared. Don't worry. I'm sure you'll do just fine. We'll discuss your, ah ... maternity leave when the need arises, as I have no idea how long this is going to take ..."

"Maternity leave?" asked Odo.

"Well, you might not need it ..."

"Am I going to get fat?" asked Odo peevishly.

"I really couldn't say--not yet, anyway."

He wanted to ask what would happen to his sex life, but decided it was none of Bashir's business.

Kira chose that moment to stroll into the infirmary. She all but ignored the doctor, making a beeline for her mate. "There you are. I was wondering where you'd disappeared to." She looked from Julian's smug face to Odo's slightly troubled one. "Is everything okay?"

Almost as if sensing something, she laid a gentle hand on Odo's stomach. "All right?" she asked in the soft, "private" tone that was meant only for him.

Odo permitted himself a smile and leaned his forehead against hers. "Yes, Nerys," he said. "I'm fine."

~the end?~

Author's Notes: This piece was inspired almost entirely by a single line in a story by OdoGoddess, who described Kira "doing deliciously naughty things to the palm of [Odo's] hand." This got me thinking about the possible tactile responses of changelings. "Touch" was initially posted to the Rene Auberjonois Adult Fanfic List (RAFL-AFF) in 1999 and published in the fanzine Love and Justice IV later that year. I've made only minimal edits to this version, which was posted to ASCEM in February of 2003, and came in second place as best Odo/Kira story that year. "Touch" was finished a little before "Chimera" aired on DS9, and thus contains any number of ideas which may not square precisely with the series canon. My version of changeling biology may also be a stretch--but on the other hand this is a species that can turn into things like fog and fire, so I'm resolved not to let that issue bother me too much. The original idea for this story was more along the lines of a parody, but something quite different emerged.