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) 1998 by C. Zdroj. This story
is Rated NC-17.
Waltz II (or,
Meanwhile, Back on the Station ...)
Chronology Note: This story was inspired by a scene from the ST:DS9
"Waltz," during which it is set.
Odo stood behind Kira, watching her shoulders, watching her back
tighten with tension as she kept her eyes on the four Starfleet
officers leaving Ops and heading for the Defiant.
She stood impassive, for the moment the commanding officer of the
station, adopting her most military aspect as Dax, Worf, and Bashir all
prepared to go in search of the missing Captain Sisko.
Bajor's liaison would stay behind while others went to seek the
Emissary. Odo felt certain that she was asking herself the same
question that was in his mind. The question that both of them were
afraid of asking aloud. Could Sisko be dead? And if he were, then what
was to become of Bajor?
Odo himself was no believer in any religion. He
was rigorous about his skepticism. Nothing in his life had ever allowed
him to feel the unconditional faith that Kira seemed to possess. Yet he
something of the loyalty she had to Sisko--the man who had persuaded
her, against all the walls that she had erected within herself against
such a possibility--that joining the Federation was the right course
for Bajor. Even more improbably, Sisko had convinced Odo too of
this initially strange notion.
The changeling was motionless in the silence that suddenly swelled
within the nerve center of the station, the Cardassian-built
monstrosity that both he and Kira now called home. There was something
surreal about the moment--about the two of them being left to
themselves to attend to station business.
It was a miracle that they were able to work together at all, after
everything that had happened during the recent Dominion occupation of
DS9--but here they were now, standing together, almost as if none
of that had happened. It was, for one brief moment, as it had been
after the departure of the Cardassians and before the arrival of the
Federation--with the two of them in silent solidarity, looking over the
wreckage of the station and into a future that seemed grim at best.
Kira, like Odo himself, was made of emotional steel, and he admired
that, as he always had. He respected it. And yet, for the entire time
he remained there, watching and admiring her, he also knew how terribly
fragile she was behind the hard exterior, for he had seen her at
breaking point before, many times. He ached to lay his hands on her
shoulders in a gesture of comfort.
But he didn't. His own posture remained as hers, his hands locked
behind him. His shame eating at him.
She turned, and Odo looked up. There was a moment, half a heartbeat,
perhaps, when they startled each other with the vulnerability betrayed
on both their faces. But military decorum intervened to save them from
embarrassment. "We'd better update the Bajoran government and Starfleet
on all of this," Kira said briskly. Odo's face was an impassive
mask as he nodded. Undoubtedly there would be vedeks and ministers to
reassure, admirals to placate, and countless other tasks of both
protocol and necessity to be done in the wake of Sisko's
disappearance--as well as the routine duties of running the station
itself. It suddenly occurred to Odo that someone would have to inform
nineteen-year-old Jake Sisko of what had happened. Kira would
undoubtedly take that unpleasant duty on her own shoulders. She nodded
back to Odo, no hint of emotion on her face--and then headed back into
Sisko's office to deal with whatever needed to be dealt with there.
No one observing this brief, businesslike interchange between DS9's
security chief and first officer would ever have guessed that Odo and
Kira had managed, not two months ago, to spend more than ten hours
hidden in Jadzia Dax's closet, just talking. Odo wondered when--and
if--they would ever be able to talk that way again.
Kira, after countless hours of subspace conversations with generals and
spies and intelligence officers and security personnel and who knew
what-all from Starfleet, entered the Bajoran temple at some
Prophets-forsaken hour, feeling tired and utterly deserted. There had
been no word from the Defiant. She approached the altar and lit a
prayer candle, and then allowed herself to sink into one of the carved
wooden benches near the front, pushing her hand tiredly through her
short, dark red hair.
"That damned Worf," she muttered softly. "Couldn't find a shree-vrat in
a nest of tarka's eggs." She laughed softly, the laughter of one who
hasn't had any sleep in over forty hours. It was unfair, she knew, to
be picking on the Klingon. He was too easy a target, with his constant
bluster and uncertain machismo. Besides, Dax and Julian and Miles were
with him, and she knew that all of them would have gone to the ends of
the earth for Sisko. She was mildly surprised, in the midst of muffling
her own laughter with her hand, to find herself wiping tears from her
face. Within seconds her short, jerking sobs could no longer be
contained, and threatened to become embarrassingly loud, amplified as
they were by the acoustic design of the temple.
As silently and gracefully as a whisper, she felt her hands being
pulled gently away from her face. Still incoherent, she reached out and
let her fingers grasp handfuls of the brown Bajoran uniform tunic that
materialized beside her, clothing a body that was warm and solid. Her
arms slipped around a broad upper torso and she felt herself wrapped in
a pair of strong arms. "It's all right, Nerys ..." The low, familiar
rough-soft voice had a gentleness in it that stirred a memory of
herself in the station infirmary, lying on her side, with a protective
shadow standing over her. Odo. She drew back, looked into deepset blue
in a minimalist, angular face. Somehow those plain features spoke
volumes to her. There were oceanic depths there of sadness,
understanding ... and regret.
"Odo ..." she said--and the sound of her voice made them both draw back
for a moment. She in surprise, he with something like embarrassment.
"When did you ...?"
"I've been here for an hour or two. I was ... one of the candles on the
altar," Odo admitted with some obvious chagrin. "Though I never have
managed to replicate a flame," he added, his faint, almost-smile
signaling his attempt to make a joke.
Kira smiled at him and managed to recover some of her self-control.
"That could be dangerous, you know--suppose I'd tried to light you?"
"That would have been interesting," he responded. "Believe it or not,
no one's ever tried that--not in all the times I've been here."
"You've been here before?" Kira blurted. Then, feeling that somehow the
utterance had sounded rude, she amended, "I mean--I didn't realize that
you came here regularly."
"Just since the Occupation ended," Odo admitted. She felt him wince as
a shadow of self-doubt flickered briefly over his carefully crafted
features. "I mean--I've found that I like the quiet here. It's very ...
conducive to thinking. Very restful. That's a good environment for
"I never thought of that. You make it sound like meditation."
"I suppose it is, in a way. It requires a certain ... inner silence to
become an inanimate object. It's one of the things I--" He stopped and
then went on, his eyes averted from her. "One of the things that I
learned from my people."
"I see," she said.
There was a silence that stretched.
"I ... didn't mean to intrude on your privacy," said Odo. "I didn't
come here to--to watch you. It was so late I didn't think anyone
"It's all right."
"I didn't mean to interfere," he went on, still looking away from her.
"But I heard you crying and ... I just couldn't sit there and do
In the dimness of the temple, Kira peered curiously at his averted
features. She had a fuzzy remembrance of the shy young security officer
who had once come to her table in the replimat and awkwardly informed
her that a "pretty girl like you shouldn't be eating alone." The
awareness of his current discomfort filtered into her own fatigued
senses slowly. After a moment, she reached out and took his hand,
letting her fingers interlace with his and squeezing warmly. "I'm glad
you're here. I feel like I've been trapped inside my own worries all
"Almost two days by my count."
His eyes met hers at last and they both almost managed to smile. For a
few minutes they just sat in the silence, holding hands. Kira was
astonished at how comfortable a silence it was. It seemed to her as
though they were both, in their distinct ways, silently praying for
Sisko's safe return. Kira knew that Odo was not religious, not
according to any of the usual definitions, but that didn't seem to
matter at the moment. She found herself recalling all the times that
she had ever sat with him in his office, saying nothing, and feeling
safe in that silence. "You know what I've always liked about you?" she
said at last.
"You always know exactly when to be quiet."
"I've had lots of practice."
She drew a breath in the stillness. "Do you remember the very first
words you said to Sisko?"
"'Who the hell are you?'" Odo quoted
back, with perfect "cranky Constable" inflection. Despite her worry,
Kira almost laughed outright.
Then she shook her head. "When I think about some of the shouting
had with the captain ... of course--who knew then that he was the
Emissary? I didn't
want to believe it at first."
"We don't know that he's dead, Nerys," said Odo, quietly, but with
iron-firmness. She squeezed his hands again in gratitude, welcoming his
bluntness in saying aloud the word that she was afraid even to think.
She felt a surge of affection then, warm and painfully unexpected. He
always knew exactly what she needed to hear. So like Odo, to show
affection by being brutally honest. It was a mark of respect. It showed
how much he valued her.
She reached up, slowly, almost fearfully, to touch the side of his
face, hesitating briefly just before her fingers came into contact with
his skin. Some part of her was fearful, even now, of this
"inappropriate" intimacy, this breach of her cowardice and his fierce
privacy. She traced the contours of his face carefully, as if seeing
him for the first time. He held perfectly still, allowing her hand to
move over his carefully molded features, her fingertips tracing the
bridge of his nose, his cheeks, his lips, the ridges of his brow. He
closed his eyes, and his expression was almost one of pain, as though
he were enduring her exploration.
When her fingers brushed along the edge of his lower lip, he whispered
as though he could barely force out his rasp of a voice, "Nerys ...
stop ... please."
She withdrew her hand and then, determined to continue the experiment,
leaned forward and kissed the place where her fingers had last rested,
kissed his mouth with careful, cautious precision. In the seconds that
followed, she drew a sharp breath as she felt his tongue sliding past
her lips and then going liquid inside her mouth. An uncontrolled shiver
raced through her body, for it was the most purely erotic sensation
she'd ever felt. She was fully conscious of the fact that he was
tasting her--exploring her like any of the shapes that he imitated--and
in some strange way, she was exploring him too, feeling what it was
like to be fluid. An unexpected flare of heat surged between her
thighs, and for a moment, she thought her entire body was going to
melt. She pulled back, gasping for breath when he
finally withdrew from her. She stared at him for a moment, into his
wide, blue, terrified eyes--and he stared back.
He broke the eye-contact, looking down. "I'm sorry, Nerys."
Her own emotions were flailing around her skull, formless, a sea of
unnamed desires and fears and doubts. His apologetic tone vexed her
suddenly. She had the vague sense that they were both standing on the
edge of something, wavering. No more,
she decided, and seized his
hand with sudden fierceness.
"Come on," she said, "We need to be someplace more private."
Odo looked completely baffled, but he rose and followed her out of the
temple, out onto the Promenade. She held his hand determinedly as she
strode along, dragging the constable after her, fixedly ignoring the
stare of Quark, who was alone at his bar, counting out the day's take
as they passed by his door. Out of the corner of her eye, Kira could
have sworn that the crafty little troll had grinned one of his
snaggle-toothed grins. She even fancied that he looked pleased about
something. But she wasn't stopping to check. Stopping was deadly. She
had no specific idea of just what she had in mind as she hauled Odo
onto the turbo-lift and stood trembling, clutching his hand, as the
doors hissed closed, sealing them inside. The silence was suddenly
terrible and deafening.
"Nerys--" Odo attempted.
"You have a bed, right?" she asked, almost clinically, staring at the
"I--yes, but ...."
"That's good." Then, abruptly to the computer, she snapped, "Habitat
By the time Odo had got out the words, "Nerys, I don't think--" Kira
was pulling him through the open doors of the turbolift and down the
curving hallway to his quarters. She didn't stop moving, didn't allow
herself to think, until the two of them stood outside his door. Then
she halted, suppressing the million and one nameless fears that were
trying to crowd her mind. She clamped down harder still on her own
internal chaos and contemplated the smooth metal surface of Odo's door.
Another choice, said the one
crystal clear thought in her brain. She
stared down at their joined hands, seeming to realize for the first
time that she was still holding onto her friend. Slowly, she released
his fingers. Odo withdrew his touch with a strangely tender grace, and
she resisted the urge to reach out and clutch him once more. She just
stood there. They both stood in silence for a moment, as if wondering
exactly how they'd come to be there. Then Kira said. "Your move,
Silently, he keyed in the lock code to his door with spare, graceful
movements of his fingers. He stood aside and gestured for her to enter.
"Lights," said Odo's soft, gruff, voice behind her, and the lights came
up, creating a strange, soft twilight effect in the room, revealing the
distorted shadows of Odo's collection of sculptures and other strange
objects. A changeling's garden,
thought Kira, and almost laughed at
herself aloud--at her own ridiculous burst of poetic sentiment. She
remembered the first time she'd seen this place--how she'd gawked at
everything like some rude tourist. "It's beautiful," was all she said
"Nerys--" Odo laid firm hands on her shoulders and turned her around to
face him. "What is this about? I need to know."
He was so solemn-looking, especially now, especially in the half-light
that shadowed his eyes and made him look even more forlorn than usual.
Unexpectedly, he reached out and cupped the side of her face in his
hand, forcing her to meet his gaze. She closed her eyes, feeling the
tears welling into them. "I don't know," she confessed, for she
couldn't lie to him. She'd never been able to lie to him. Except the
one time. "Damn it, I don't know." She was suddenly furious at
for charging this far to the cliff's edge only to hesitate yet again.
"I just don't want to think tonight. I want to be someplace other than
here. I don't want to be responsible for Bajor if --" She made herself
say it: "--if the Emissary is dead."
"I see," he said. She felt the color rise to her cheeks. The stupidity
of her actions hit her like a slap in the face. What had she just asked
of him? Fuck me so that I'll feel
better about the state of the
universe? Let me borrow your body for a while? Let me take advantage of
you? She wanted to sink into the ground in that moment. But the
hateful, Cardassian-built architecture would have none of that. The
floor under her feet stayed solid, and she became aware of the fact the
Odo had leaned down to kiss her. She felt his lips brushing her cheek,
a reverent, careful kiss. Prophets,
I have to do this now, before I
lose my nerve. She let her arms slide around his neck. Her lips
his for the second time, kissing him with slow, deliberate sensuality.
No thought, no doubt, just pure sensation. Exactly what she needed. She
breathed against the skin of his neck and he shivered. She felt it
through her whole body and pressed herself closer against him, felt an
unexpected softening of his contours.
"Odo," she said softly, bringing one hand up to run her fingers through
his fair, silken hair, pressing her lips against his temple. "Odo ..."
she breathed his name again, drawing out the syllables. "Don't leave me
tonight ... please." She was aware of arching her neck against the
warmth of his kisses. He lifted her with astonishing ease and carried
her to the other room, gently laying her on the bed. He drew back from
kissing her, and she felt his fingers sketch lightly through her hair,
a cautious touch against the side of her face.
"You're certain?" he said.
Having no use for words, and less idea what words might be appropriate,
she reached for him, slipped her hands behind his head and pulled him
into another firm kiss, shuddering as he liquefied inside her mouth
again. She ran her hands down his back, and as she did so, she felt the
fabric of his uniform melt into ripples of warm liquid, reform into
skin that was softer than velvet, liquid after its own fashion, in its
subtle, flowing curves. She brought her hands up over the front of his
chest, shocked and delighted to feel the softness of his belly, the
precise u-shaped outline of his lower ribcage, and the perfect,
well-formed nipples that hardened under her touch. Odo gently drew her
wrists away and pinned them down against the mattress, beginning to
kiss her neck.
And then, as suddenly as he'd begun--he stopped, releasing her and
sitting up on the bed.
"Odo?" Kira opened her eyes.
His face, above hers, was shadowed so that she couldn't read it.
"Odo, what's wrong?" she asked.
He paused. When he spoke, his voice was filled with shame and
revulsion. "The female changeling," he whispered. "I--she and I, we ...
it was here. On this bed." The last three words were spoken with
emphatic precision, with sorrow, but mostly with anger. He fell silent.
Kira rolled onto her side and sat up slowly. She made no move to touch
him. She and Odo had, occasionally, spoken of his "link" with the
female changeling, always cautiously, always with a deep awareness of
things left unsaid. But there was something now in his voice, a sense
of fear as well as shame, that suddenly seemed familiar and troubling.
She reached out to him slowly, allowed herself to touch his shoulder.
He didn't move away, but she felt a contracting of his substance under
her touch, as if his cells were drawing together.
"Odo--" she asked softly, "Did she ... force you? Did she hurt you?"
"No, she ... I didn't have the strength to say no to her." It was not
an excuse. It was clear that he blamed himself entirely. He blew a soft
snort of disgust. "We spent three days in this room. I didn't even
realize how much time was passing. I let her have
everything--everything that was me--all my memories, my emotions,
everything. I gave it all to her. I even--I 'showed her how humanoids
express intimacy.'" His words were dripping with pain and sarcasm.
Kira said nothing. His tone was one of confession, as though he needed
to expose his failings before he could bring himself to touch her. "All
my life I've longed to be with my people. Those three days were the
closest I've ever come to complete happiness--and yet, all that time,
it still seemed ... unsatisfying." He paused before going on. "It seems
all I really wanted was to be with you."
Kira shut her eyes. She let her hand fall from his shoulder. "I'm
sorry, Odo. I had no right to do this to you. It was stupid for me to
He turned then and looked at her. "Was it?" he whispered, "Is it really
so ridiculous? Am I so unattractive to you?"
She felt her throat constrict, tears stinging the corners of her eyes.
"Of course not!" She took his chin in her hands and kissed his face, an
act of desperation. She kissed his eyes, his cheeks, the hard,
stubborn, straight line of his mouth. She kept her face close to his in
the darkness, let her fingers roam through his hair, combing it
haphazardly into complete disarray. She struggled for to find her
words. "Odo," she whispered, "you're beautiful. I mean that. If you
only knew how perfect you look right now--and when you kissed me, just
now--and in the temple--it was like ... nothing I'd ever felt before.
just seems like we've both been avoiding this for so long. I don't know
what I feel right now. I'm tired and scared and lonely, and I do want
you. I just don't want to use you the way she did. When you started
talking about her--I realized that's what I was doing. This isn't
right. It's not fair to you." She let her fingers smooth a few strands
of hair back into place along his temple. "You've always been so good
to me. You've always been there. You've never complained. I've never
done anything but take advantage, have I?"
Odo shook his head. "That's not true. You--" He reached up and caught
her hands, drawing them down gently and holding them still. "Don't you
realize what you are to me? You are the one who made me feel ... like a
person, like I belonged here on this station, at a time when I'd become
so used to being a freak that I hardly thought about it anymore. Don't
you see?" His face was close to hers now, his voice filled with both
Kira nodded slowly. "I think so."
"I'm not asking for any promises, Nerys. I don't even dare to ask you
to forgive me. But if I can do this, for you--then nothing else
matters. I won't feel used, I promise you." She leaned close and kissed
him again, feeling herself tremble with the intensity of it. He
released her hands, and she drew him to her, nuzzling his face. "It's
all right--I promise," she whispered, finding a rhythm now in touching
him. He raised his own hands tentatively to her face, following her
lead. This was uncharted territory for both of them and they moved
slowly, hesitantly as a pair of ... virgins,
Kira thought, and she
gently drew Odo's hands back to the nape of her neck--to the place
where the zipper of her jumpsuit was located. She pressed her forehead
against his, "Help me out of this, would you?"
She was surprised, somehow, by the delicacy of his hands, as they
pulled the zipper down smoothly and then slipped over her bare
shoulders, between the fabric and her skin. She felt the thrill of his
hesitation, the ache of her own body as she realized how badly she
wanted him. "Go ahead," she told him--and in silence, the front of the
jumpsuit came down, exposing her upper body in the starlight, the pale
curves of her neck and shoulders, her small, firm breasts. She shivered
in the slight chill of the room as this last "skin" was peeled away
from her. Odo paused for only a breath before she felt his hands travel
caressingly down her flanks to her hips. His fingers slid just under
the elastic waist of her thin white panties, freeing her from the last
confines of her uniform.
"Touch me," she said, "It's all right ..." and she felt his fingertips
move along the inside of her thigh, then higher, delicately,
reverently, tracing the outer edges of her vulva.
A tiny whimper of pleasure emerged from her as Odo continued the slow
and gentle investigation of her body. He continued to tease lightly at
the opening between her thighs, his fingers now solid, now partially
liquid, traveling in precise, careful circles until she moaned softly.
His mouth closed on hers and he liquefied, welling into her mouth and
her waiting vagina at the same moment. Her whole body shivered in
response, arching against him. Her hips moved, her whole body moved
with sureness against him, her arms and legs wound around his supple,
ever-changing form. There, on the wide bed in his quarters, on the very
sheets that had once held the pooled, entwined forms of Odo and the
female changeling, Kira Nerys opened herself, body and soul, to the
unknown and the unknowable, and cried out her passion in the dark.
She was mindless and unthinking as she twisted among the soft sheets,
against his soft body, against his soft words. Her body was a river.
There were rivers flowing out of her, where Odo moved inside her and
tasted her. She gasped. She felt the sound her name, a velvet rumble
against her skin, whispered to her over and over.
"Odo," she gasped
There was no end. She felt him inside her and her hips moved with his,
a chaos of passion amidst the sheets. He was warm and real, now solid
and now fluid, around her, inside her. Her orgasms shattered the
silence, one after another, as she moved beneath him, receiving his
passion as a smooth, white beach receives the ocean. She saw, through
the haze of her own pleasure, the look of intense concentration, almost
pain, on those simple features of his, heard him cry out and felt his
essence spill into her. Somehow it was a victory. He collapsed onto her
chest, breathing hard, as any Bajoran male would after sexual release.
She ran her hands over his shoulder blades, feeling the illusion of
muscle and bone, listening to him breathe, feeling him tremble. Her
fingers ran up through his soft, disheveled hair, pulling him to her in
a protective gesture. "Shhh... It's all right."
"I'm sorry, Nerys ...."
"Shhh..." She wound her legs around his hips, forcing him to stay
inside her, kissed his temple in reassurance, held him until his body
became still. She was aware of his mouth against hers, of slow, tender
kisses. She slipped into the warmth of sleep still clinging to him.
When Kira woke she was immediately conscious of an absence, a lack of
warmth. She rolled onto her side and saw Odo standing at the viewport,
staring into the distance, the supple curves of his lovely, naked body
highlighted by the cool, silvery light of the stars. She blinked in
surprise at the second of transcendent loveliness. For in that moment
he was more than just Odo--her friend and her lover, he was all that
was alien, all that was mysterious and ultimately unknowable. And yet,
the tenderness and subtle, carefully-built curves of the humanoid frame
were now familiar to her as places where her own hands had traveled. It
came as a shock to her to realize that she knew him better than perhaps
anyone did. He had stayed here, in this humanoid world, for her. She
knew this. He had rejected his own people to be with her. Kira was
moved. For the first time, the idea of being loved so much meant
something to her other than
She sat up, and Odo turned to look in her direction. The bedclothes
fell away from her body as she rose from the bed, went to him and
kissed him in the starlight, kissed him for a long time, letting the
feel of his liquid self spill inside her mouth, and this time, feeling
what it was to be him feeling her. There was a slight quiver of flesh
shared between them, a sweet whisper of anxiety and adrenaline. She did
not know if it was her body or his. At last she stopped, bowed her head
and felt Odo's forehead come to rest against her own. "What were you
looking for?" she asked, nodding briefly at the viewport. "I mean--out
"I don't know."
"Come back to bed," she whispered.
He clutched her then, and she felt a shiver pass through his body. Had
he been humanoid, she would have thought him about to cry. She closed
her eyes and held him. "What is it, Odo? Tell me."
He continued to hold her, and his voice when he spoke was a tight
whisper. "This still feels so unreal to me--like a dream. I'm sorry."
She held him in the silence, feeling the anxiety and pain pulsing
through the substance of his being. His body hummed with it.
She kissed his temple. "I should be the one to apologize. I was so
afraid of--I don't know. I'm still afraid. It just seems to matter less
There was a silence. "I need to regenerate soon," he said, as though it
"I thought that's what the bed was for," she said quietly, with the
tiniest of smiles. He didn't protest as she took his hand once more and
drew him with her to the wide mattress. They lay down together among
the tangled sheets, Odo's head pillowed on Kira's chest, her hands
tracing aimless designs on his shoulders and through his hair.
"I need you, you know," she said quietly. "I always have." She waited
for a few breaths, choosing her words carefully. "Do you remember the
first time you ever linked with another changeling--back when we first
met them on that stray planet you discovered?"
"I remember," he whispered, his eyes closed.
"You joined hands, and then your hands melted together while I
watched--and when she finally let go of you, you had this ... look on
your face. Some secret joy that I could never understand--and then you
just looked--blank, gone. Like the Odo I knew
had never existed. I was afraid you were gone forever."
"I've been afraid losing you ever since that day--to them. Even before
we knew who your people were, I always had a sense that I would lose
you to them. When she came here, she ... they ... they took you away
She kissed the top of his head. "I don't ever want to lose you again."
The words were spoken in barest whisper. Her own confession.
His hand tightened around hers in the darkness. "I'm not sure how to
explain it to you, Nerys--but you are ... already part of who I am. And
don't want to lose you either." His hand turned to liquid, immersing
hers, and Kira felt a wave of pleasure pulse suddenly from the tips of
her fingers and throughout her body.
"It's all right," she whispered. "I'm here."
Odo, feeling his control over the humanoid form begin to slip the
tiniest fraction, murmured, "I'll probably slide ... off ... the
mattress," His voice was breathless and fatigued.
"Don't worry--I won't let you fall."
Odo felt his body begin to slowly mold itself to the curves of hers,
the edges of his assumed form blurring and melting, merging with hers
somehow, and then, like a softly expelled breath of air, he released
his hold and let himself fall into her care, contracting and pooling
gently into the hollow created by her curled-up body. He lay against
her chest, felt her heartbeat, felt her arms gather him in. He rippled
against her, enveloping her body as she enclosed his, letting the
rhythms of her body lull him into the blessed stillness of changeling
Beside him, within him, Kira slept as well, safe and without dreams.
Author's Notes: Two earlier versions
of this story
have appeared in the fanzines Face
Forward IV (1998), and Love
Justice VI (2001). Since it
was originally published before Odo and Kira became a canonical couple
on DS9, I was surprised and
pleased, on re-reading this work, to find that I had anticipated a
bit of Kira's dialogue in "Chimera," which didn't air until February of
1999. This story also has some similarities to one of my
later works, "Flying and Falling" (2001), even though the two stories
were dreamed up completely independently of each other.