"Who ARE these people???"

Odo and Kira share a tender moment in STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, "Children of Time" The Odo/Kira Frequently Asked Questions Guide

Dedicated to answering the basic questions about STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE's favorite star-crossed couple.


1. JUST WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE ANYWAY?

Major Kira Nerys is the Bajoran liaison to space station Deep Space Nine, which is currently operating under Federation authority. Major Kira was born in Dakhur Province on the planet Bajor during a time when the planet was being occupied by forces of the brutal Cardassian Empire. Her family, members of an artist's caste, were all killed or imprisoned when she was young. She joined the Shakaar resistance cell at age 13 and spent the next twenty years as a terrorist resistance fighter. Eventually the Cardassians withdrew from Bajor and Kira, who was very vocal in her criticism of the new provisional government, was assigned to DS9 to get her out of their hair. She currently serves as the first officer of Captain Benjamin Sisko, the Starfleet officer in comment of Deep Space Nine.

Major Kira is a very strong-willed woman, passionate in her beliefs, lacking in pretense and with little patience for fools. She is a believer in the Prophets, the entities worshipped as gods by the Bajoran people. On the other hand, Kira tends to lack imagination, isn't terribly introspective, and at times she feels strong guilt over the actions she was forced to take as a terrorist in the resistance. (BTW, Bajorans list their family names first, so "Kira" is her family name and "Nerys" is her given name).

Security Chief Odo, a.k.a. Constable Odo, is the chief of security on Deep Space Nine, a position he held for the past ten years, four of them under the Cardassians before they withdrew from Bajor and when the station was known as "Terok Nor". A shapeshifter, Odo takes on the appearance of a humanoid but is, in his true form, a shapeless liquid mass. Odo was originally discovered in a space pod floating in the Denorious asteroid belt near Bajor, his origins a mystery. Found by Bajorans, he was taken to the Bajoran Science Center for study by Dr. Mora Pol. At first it was unclear that Odo was a life form, much less intelligent, so the container his liquid form was stored in was labeled "Odo'ital", or Unknown Sample. After it became clear that Odo was a sentient being, and eventually learned to assume an (imperfect) humanoid form, he shortened the name to just Odo.

Dissatisfied with being a laboratory specimen, Odo eventually left the science center to learn about life. He became known as an impartial arbiter between Bajorans with disputes. After a time he was asked to investigate a crime aboard Terok Nor by its Cardassian commander, Gul Dukat. Impressing Dukat with his detective skills, Odo was appointed Chief of Security. When the Cardassians pulled out, Odo remained behind as Security Chief and as a member of the Bajoran militia.


2. HOW DID ODO AND KIRA MEET?

This was revealed in the second season episode "Necessary Evil" (one of the series' best). When a Bajoran chemist shop owner was murdered aboard Terok Nor, Gul Dukat summoned Odo to look into the crime. During the investigation the chemist's wife pointed out a young woman she believed her husband had been having an affair with-- Kira Nerys. Odo confronted Kira and questioned her about the crime, but Kira claimed innocence. Still, Odo managed to discover her alibi was a lie, and when he confronted her again she told him she was a member of the resistance and had come to the station to commit acts of sabotage, not murder. Believing her story, Odo told Dukat that she wasn't the murderer and at the same time concealed her terrorist activities. Years later the two were reunited when Kira became the Bajoran liaison to DS9 and, ironically, Odo's superior officer in the Bajoran militia.

The two became fast friends at this point. Kira came to rely on Odo for his calm nature, efficiency, and the unique viewpoint he offered on her problems, while the anti-social Odo found in Kira a kindred spirit in their mutual distrust of Federation authority. Their friendship endured even when Odo's discovered, years after the fact, that Kira was responsible for the murder of the Bajoran chemist (the chemist had been a collaborator with the Cardassians and had surprised Kira in the act of searching for his list of contacts, forcing her to kill him in self- defense).


3. WHO'S IN LOVE WITH WHO HERE?

Over time Odo's feelings deepened into something more than friendship, and in the third season episode "Heart of Stone" he admitted he was in love with Kira. The Major, on the other hand, generally considered Odo "only a friend", although she did reveal a great deal of affection for him at times. Lately, however, she has started to reveal a deeper interest in the Constable. (It seems reasonable to theorize that she may have been in love with Odo all along, but unaware of it.)


4. WHEN WAS IT REVEALED THAT ODO WAS IN LOVE WITH KIRA?

This one's a little tricky. While a certain closeness existed between the characters from the beginning of the series, it's hard to read much more than friendship into their scenes together in the first season. However, at the beginning of the second season during the 3- part "Circle Trilogy", Odo reacts with uncharacteristic anger when Kira is reassigned back to Bajor, hinting at the depth of his feelings. Later that season in "Necessary Evil" when it is revealed that Kira lied to him about the murder of the chemist Odo is visibly troubled and demonstrates a great deal of emotional pain over her betrayal. (Note: the producers of ST:DS9 claim that it was "a look" Odo gave Kira at the end of this episode that made them realize he loved her).

Later that season in "The Collaborator" when Kira confesses to Odo that she is in love with Vedek Bareil, the constable reacts with overt disappointment and the line "You humanoids--when it comes to emotional attachments you always fail to see the obvious," a statement that Kira interprets to mean her feelings about Bareil--but could also be applied to her perception of Odo. In season three things truly do get a bit more obvious, and in the episode "Fascination" Lwaxana Troi notices Odo's reaction to Kira and becomes the first person to verbally acknowledge that his feelings for the good major are more than friendship. Later, in "Heart of Stone", Odo believes Kira is about to be killed and confesses that, yes, "...I'm in love with you." However, it turned out the person he thought was Kira was an impostor, and so Kira remained ignorant of Odo's true feelings for her.


5. WHY WOULDN'T ODO TELL KIRA HE WAS IN LOVE WITH HER?

There are a number of factors involved here. When Odo first realized his feelings for Kira she was already involved with someone else. Another reason is that he believed Kira could not return his feelings, and feared losing her friendship by confronting her with a fact that would make her uncomfortable. And Odo also saw his physical nature as a shapeshifting life form as a barrier to a relationship with a humanoid.

But probably the main reason for Odo's silence was his lack of self-esteem. Having always been an outsider, never having a family, being treated like a laboratory specimen by Bajorans and exploited as a source of entertainment by the Cardassians (Odo was used to entertain at parties when younger, performing the "Cardassian neck trick" among others), Odo has had precious little affection in life. Consequently he formed a rather low opinion of himself, and it is always hard to believe that others can love you when you don't love yourself.


6. OKAY, SO WHY COULDN'T KIRA FIGURE OUT ODO WAS IN LOVE WITH HER? IS SHE STUPID OR WHAT?

Again, this is tricky. Part of the reason probably has to do with the fact that Odo had publicly stated his distaste for "humanoid mating rituals" and all the compromises a relationship entails. Another factor is that Odo's physical nature is very different from a humanoid's, which may have led Kira to believe that Odo lacks the...desires...that humanoids feel. Odo himself is normally adept at hiding his feelings and was determined NOT to let Kira learn the truth.

Kira, while not an unintelligent person, is rather provincial and lacks a certain amount of imagination, which may account for why it never seemed to occur to her that Odo could harbor feelings for her. When a Romulan intelligence task force suggested to her in the episode "Visionary" that her relationship with Odo was intimate, she reacted with an angry denial, apparently feeling the whole matter was impossible. However, it isn't clear whether she thought it was impossible because of Odo's feelings or her own.

Still, it was frustrating to the casual viewer that Kira remained oblivious to Odo's deep affections for so long. It became particularly maddening in light of Odo's reaction to Kira's involvement with First Minister Shakaar in the fourth season's "Crossfire". Forced to witness Kira become romantically involved with her old resistance cell leader, a deeply wounded Odo decided to "keep to the essentials" and minimize his contact with Kira by canceling their regular Tuesday morning breakfast meetings.


7. HAS KIRA EVER BEEN INVOLVED WITH ANYONE ELSE?

Kira has had two important relationships during the course of the series (besides Odo, of course). The first was with the Bajoran holy man Vedek Bareil, with whom Kira became involved while he was campaigning for the post of Kai, the planet's spiritual leader. In "The Circle" during an "Orb Vision" (a revelation of future events caused by a sacred Bajoran artifact) Kira saw herself and Bareil as lovers. He visited her on DS9 in the second season episode "Shadowplay" during which it is strongly implied they consummated their relationship. Later in "The Collaborator" Kira is forced to investigate charges that Bareil collaborated with Cardassians and was involved with the slaughter of Bajoran resistance fighters. It was during these events that Kira confessed to Odo she was in love with Bareil.

Eventually Kira found proof of Bareil's innocence, but not before the investigation caused him to withdraw from the race for Kai, allowing his unscrupulous rival Vedek Winn to take the election. Winn appointed Bareil as one of her advisors, and together they began negotiating a peace treaty with Cardassia. During the negotiations Bareil was injured in a shuttle accident, but Winn insisted the seriously wounded Vedek continue to assist her in the negotiations. Bareil physically over extended himself in doing so and died, leaving Kira grief- stricken.

Several months later Kai Winn asked Kira to intercede in a dispute with a group of Bajoran farmers, some of which included her friends from the resistance. One of these was Shakaar Edon, the leader of her old cell. The dispute threatened to erupt into a civil war, but was eventually settled when Shakaar decided to run for First Minister of Bajor. He won the election.

In the fourth season Shakaar came to DS9 to negotiate with Federation officials in regards to Bajor's admission to the Federation. During this time he expressed a romantic interest in Kira, which she reciprocated. The two became lovers, which they remained for some time, although the physical distance between them seemed to keep them from seeing each other too often.

Shakaar was occasionally mentioned after that, but was not seen again until year four's "The Begotten". There he was used mainly as comic relief, reacting with possessive jealousy to Chief O'Brien when Kira prepared to give birth to the O'Brien baby.

In Year Five's "Children of Time" Kira revealed that she and Shakaar had visited a Bajoran temple and "...asked the prophets if we were meant to walk the same path". They were not, so Kira broke off the relationship.


8. ISN'T ODO MARRIED TO LWAXANA TROI?

Yes and no. Odo first met Lwaxana during the first season episode "The Forsaken" in which the Betazoid ambassador, attending a trade conference on DS9, found herself attracted to the constable. Odo was annoyed and uncomfortable at her attempts at seduction, and was even more put out when they were trapped together in a turbolift for several hours. However, Lwaxana revealed a tender side to Odo by comforting him when he had to revert to a gelatinous state in front of her (Odo must revert to his natural state every 16 hours, something he considers very private). Appreciating her sensitivity, Odo seemed to "soften up" towards the outrageous Betazoid.

Lwaxana returned in the third season's "Fascination". Reunited during the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, Lwaxana pursued Odo with even more fervor than before, to the Changeling's chagrin. Part of Lwaxana's behavior in this episode can probably be attributed to the fact that she was suffering from Zanthi fever, an illness that causes "mature" Betazoids to telepathically broadcast their feelings to those around them. Spreading her amorous feelings for Odo around the station, she caused an outbreak of "love sickness" among some rather unlikely couples, including Kira and Dr. Bashir. When Mrs. Troi witnessed Odo's dismayed reaction to Kira and the Doctor in a passionate embrace, she realized Odo had romantic feelings for the major.

Believing Odo was a lost cause, Lwaxana married an alien named Jeyal and became pregnant. However, Jeyal's race believes that children should be raised apart from the opposite sex, even their mother or father, and when it was discovered that Lwaxana's child would be a boy she fled rather than give him up. She came to Odo for protection, who concocted a plan to let her keep the child. It seemed the laws of Jeyal's race allowed a woman to divorce her husband by marrying another man, and this man would be recognized as the father of the child. Odo volunteered to marry Lwaxana, and after convincing her husband the union was a sincere one Jeyal renounced his claim to the baby. Afterwards Odo asked Lwaxana to stay, feeling at this point his hopes for a relationship with Kira were lost (this being soon after the events with Shakaar in "Crossfire") and that she and the child might be the family he longed for. Lwaxana, however, seemed to realize that Odo would never love her in the way she wanted and returned to Betazed. The marriage was apparently annulled a few months later.


9. HAS ODO HAD ANY OTHER WOMEN IN HIS LIFE?

A number of women have been attracted to Odo through the course of the series, including a Bolian kiosk operator ("Shadowplay") and a Bajoran restaurant owner ("Broken Link"). However, it wasn't until Year Five's "A Simple Investigation" that Odo met a woman whose interest he was able to return--Arissa.

Arissa was a member of the Orion Syndicate, an interstellar criminal organization. Seeking to leave her criminal life behind, Arissa traveled to DS9 for a rendezvous with an Idanian intelligence agent who claimed he had information which could help her. When the Idanian was killed by Orion assassins, Odo took responsibility for protecting her. Realizing he was attracted to her, and acting on advice from Dr. Bashir, Odo allowed himself to pursue a relationship with Arissa, even to the point of making love for the first time with a humanoid. But then events took a strange turn as Odo learned that Arissa was also an Idanian intelligence agent, one whose identity had been erased and new memories implanted so she could infiltrate the Orions. When her memory was restored she realized she had a husband, to whom she returned after a bittersweet parting with the Constable, who realized "I fell in love with a woman...who never existed."

As a sidenote, Kira had some rather interesting reactions to Odo's new relationship in this story. After initially encouraging him to pursue Arissa, she later seemed disturbed by the idea that the two had become intimately involved, even denying that it could have happened. It seems likely Kira was experiencing some pangs of jealousy--without realizing it.


10. I HEARD KIRA HAD A BABY! WHO'S THE FATHER?

Kira's pregnancy was introduced in the fourth season episode "Body Parts" in order to account for the real-life pregnancy of actress Nana Visitor (the father, interestingly enough, is DS9 castmate Alexander Siddig, who plays Dr. Julian Bashir). Rather fancifully, the producers decided to make Kira a surrogate mother by having Keiko O'Brien, the expectant wife of the station's Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien, injured on an away mission with Kira and Dr. Bashir. With the fetus in danger, Bashir saw the only way to save it was by transferring the unborn child into Kira's womb. Now forced to carry the baby to term, Kira temporarily moved in with the O'Briens so as to allow them to be near their child.

This led to some rather awkward developments in season five's "Looking For Par'mach In All the Wrong Places". Chief O'Brien had thrown himself into the task of looking after Kira's well- being for the baby's sake, helping her out of the bathtub, giving her massages, etc. However, this closeness eventually resulted in a rather awkward attraction between the two. Before things went too far and they both did something they knew they'd regret, Kira and O'Brien decided to put a little distance between themselves. It's interesting to note that Odo, apparently seeing what was going on, displayed some rather scathing sarcasm in this episode, apparently to hide his jealousy. Anyway, the attraction was most likely a "chemical" side effect of the pregnancy, as the O'Briens normally have a very happy home life. (In a subsequent episode called "The Assignment" O'Brien had to go to extraordinary lengths to rescue Keiko from a Bajoran "Pagh Wraith"--an experience which probably helped him put his feelings back into perspective).

Kira gave birth and, with some regrets, turned the child over to his biological parents in "The Begotten". While Shakaar was in attendance at the birth, it is interesting to note that it was not him but *Odo* with whom she chose to share her feelings of loss after surrendering the baby.


11. HOW DO THE CHANGELINGS FIT INTO ALL THIS?

For most of his life Odo had no idea of his origins, no clue as to who his race was or what type of people they were like. The one thing he thought he knew about them was that justice was important to them, since his own passion for justice seemed to be a genetic trait. This lack of racial identity added greatly to his loneliness and self-deprecation.

After the discovery near Bajor of a Wormhole leading to the other side of the galaxy, Odo theorized that his origins were there in Gamma Quadrant. He turned out to be right. The Federation encountered a powerful military alliance in the Gamma Quadrant called the Dominion, headed by the mysterious Founders. While on a mission to locate and negotiate with these Founders, the crew was attacked by their military force the Jem'hadar. As this was happening, Odo felt a strange and powerful urge drawing him to a planet in the Omarian nebula. Forced by the attack to flee the Defiant in a shuttlecraft, Odo and Kira traveled there and discovered a race of Changelings, Odo's people.

Odo attempted to get to know his people, but was bitterly disappointed when he discovered they were the tyrannical Founders of the Dominion. He rejected them, and returned with Kira to his life on DS9. The Changelings were puzzled by his rejection and attempted several times to lure him back. On one occasion their leader impersonated Kira and set up a situation in which it appeared she was going to be killed in order to learn the true reason for Odo's allegiance to the "solids" (their word for humanoids). She tricked him into admitting he was in love with Kira. Odo eventually saw through the deception and rescued the real Kira, but not before the female Founder told him that Kira could never love him because he was a Changeling. ("Heart of Stone")

Later Odo was forced to kill another Changeling in self-defense, making him the first Changeling ever to harm another of his kind. For punishment, the Founders removed Odo's shapeshifting powers and turned him into a human.

He eventually regained his powers in "The Begotten" when a dying infant changeling merged into his body. Later he was told that the Great Link has forgiven him, and he is once again welcome to return. But Odo still refuses to be a part of a culture dedicated to controlling all those around them.


12. DOES ANYONE ELSE KNOW ABOUT ODO'S FEELINGS FOR KIRA?

Besides Lwaxana Troi and the Founders, the station's Ferengi bartender Quark was the first person we *definitely* know to have become aware of Odo's feelings. In "Crossfire" the Ferengi witnessed Odo's pained reaction to seeing Kira and Shakaar together and realized the truth. Later in that episode he came across Odo after the shapeshifter has torn apart his apartment in a rage after learning the two had become lovers. Quark advised Odo to either tell Kira how he feels or forget about her--to "keep to the essentials". Odo took his advice and opted to distance himself from the major. Quark, to his credit, has displayed unusual sensitivity in this matter and has not used this information against Odo, who normally keeps a tight rein on Quark's shady business dealings. It seems the Ferengi considers the situation "off limits".

Besides the aforementioned, there are a couple of others who *might* have known about Odo's feelings. In the third season's "Improbable Cause" Odo and Garak, the former Cardassian spy now exiled to DS9, were involved in an investigation into the murders of several of Garak's former associates. During the investigation Garak questioned Odo as to whether he considered all beings just mysteries to solve, or if there was anyone who meant more to him than that. Odo evaded the question, but the tone of it all suggested that Garak already suspected something. As someone trained in observation and with a love of secrets, it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine that the Cardassian had deduced the truth. It's also worth noting that in the fourth season finale "Broken Link" Garak tries to arrange a date between Odo and a female restaurant owner. Was he trying to offer Odo some comfort after the events of "Crossfire"?

The other person who might have known is Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax, DS9's science officer. Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill, a humanoid physically joined to a worm-like symbiont that also carries the memories of past hosts. During a Trill ritual called a zhian'tara, memories of these past hosts are transplanted to volunteers so that the present host can interact with them and come to know them on a personal level. Odo volunteered to allow her most recent past host, Curzon Dax, be transplanted into him. However, Odo's metamorphic nature effected the transference and caused the two personas to merge together temporarily. Eventually the process was reversed, but when Curzon's thoughts returned to her Jadzia claimed she now also had some of Odo's memories. Whether these include memories of Odo's love for Kira is unclear, but Dax has never mentioned it if she does know.

(NOTE: In the fifth season finale "A Call to Arms" Kira tells Dax about Odo's feelings, and Dax's first reaction is, "That explains a lot". She then covered for herself and said she had no idea Odo felt that way. While it is possible from this evidence that Dax did *not* know about Odo's love for Kira, it is also possible Dax is simply forbidden from revealing what she might have learned during a sacred Trill ritual.)


13. HOW DID KIRA'S INVOLVEMENT WITH SHAKAAR EFFECT ODO?

After Kira started seeing Shakaar in "Crossfire" the Odo/Kira relationship seemed to go into a downward spiral, as a certain distance seemed to grow up between the two characters. In fact, many people interpreted "Crossfire" as a type of "closure" to the O/K storyline, with no more development to come.

However, events ultimately did not quite bear this conclusion out, as the plotline slowly continued to develop. Lwaxana asks Odo in "Muse" if he is over Kira yet, a question that Odo avoided answering directly. The Female Founders pointed out "...that solid you're so fond of has found someone else," in "Broken Link", a reference that some fans took to have sinister overtones (did the Changelings orchestrate somehow Kira's involvement with Shakaar?). And in the fifth season episode "Ascent" Quark mentioned Odo's "...'platonic' relationship with a certain Bajoran major."

Still, the former emotional intimacy and candor of their relationship was rarely seen over the next year. Kira showed little interest in Odo's wedding to Lwaxana in "Muse", even after stating bluntly in "Crossfire" she believed Odo considered romantic feelings "silly". During his illness in "Broken Link" Odo flatly rejected Kira's attempts to comfort him and sends her away. In year five's "Looking For Par'mach In All the Wrong Places" Odo is unusually brittle and sarcastic with Kira when she is briefly suffering through her comical attraction to Chief O'Brien. And Kira, possibly already feeling some frustration at Odo's emotional reticence, expresses equal amounts of anger, disillusionment and disappointment when she discovers the Constable once accidentally arrested three innocent men for the attempted assassination of Gul Dukat, three men who were all executed for the crime.("Things Past")


14. DID THEY EVER MANAGE TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES?

Around the middle of the fifth season the Odo/Kira relationship started to show signs of reviving. In "The Darkness & the Light" the members of the Shakaar resistance cell are being systematically murdered, and the killer specifically targets Kira by sending her taunting messages after each murder. Odo is very active in this story, working to protect Kira and find the killer. One particularly touching scene takes place in sickbay, where Odo gently comforted the major after two of her oldest friends (Furel and Lupaza) are killed. It seemed that by this point Odo's vow to "keep to the essentials" where Kira was concerned had been tested to the breaking point.

In the aforementioned "The Begotten" Kira turns to Odo for emotional support after giving up the O'Brien baby, and he reciprocates due to his similar loss of a changeling infant he had been caring for. Odo's admission "I think I know how you feel Nerys", besides being the first time he ever used Kira's given name, was also the first time since "Crossfire" he had willingly revealed any of his inner feelings to her.

This was followed by an interesting scene at the beginning of "In Purgatory's Shadow" where Kira is helping Odo move some furniture into his quarters and finds a book he has been reading entitled Finding and Winning Your Perfect Mate. Genuinely surprised to learn that Odo had an interest in "couplehood", Kira encouraged him to further pursue the subject. Odo, on the other hand, was very uncomfortable discussing the matter with her.

Then came "Children of Time"...


15. HOW DID KIRA FINALLY FIND OUT ODO WAS IN LOVE WITH HER?

This finally happened in Year Five's "Children of Time". While on patrol in the Gamma Quadrant, the Defiant crew discovered a planet called Gaia, inhabited by their own descendants. It seemed that in two days they were fated to encounter a temporal anomaly that would hurl them back in time 200 years, marooning them on this planet. As a consequence Kira, who had been exposed to a radiation surge and needed treatment she could only receive back on DS9, would die in a few weeks.

While the crew pondered methods of resolving the temporal paradox, Kira encountered Odo's future counterpart who had been living on the planet for two centuries (changelings having extremely long lifespans). THIS Odo immediately confessed, "I love you Nerys. I've always loved you." At first stunned and disbelieving, Kira quickly came to accept the reality of Odo's feelings, and did NOT display the fear or disgust Odo always feared she might. (The present Odo was absent at this time because the planet's energy field left him unable to hold his shape, a limitation the future Odo had long since learned to overcome).

Since the existence of their descendants depended on the Defiant crew recreating the original accident, Kira decided she was fated to die to preserve the timeline. Future-Odo objected strenuously, arguing that she had to go home to save her life. Finally he asked, "If I had told you years ago how I feel, would it have made a difference?" to which Kira replied "Maybe"--and then gave him a brief, bittersweet kiss before going to face her destiny.

The Defiant attempted to duplicate the original history by once again colliding with the temporal anomaly, but at the last second the ship veered away and avoided the anomaly, changing history and causing the eight thousand Gaians to cease to exist. It was discovered that the ship's flight plan had been changed to insure that the Defiant would avoid the original accident.

Later the present-Odo came to Kira and told him that his future self had linked with him before leaving the ship, sharing with him all that had happened. Kira admitted she was confused by recent events, and Odo agreed they both needed time to adjust to the new realities in their relationship. Then Odo dropped a bombshell--it had been his future self who had diverted the Defiant, changing their flight plan in order to save Kira's life. Stunned that he had sacrificed himself and 8,000 lives for her, a badly shaken Kira asked Odo if he thought his future self was right. "I don't know--he thought so," was all Odo could answer, leaving a badly shaken Kira to ponder these staggering--and frightening--revelations.

16. AND THEN THERE WAS THAT PESKY WAR...

For the next month Kira and Odo avoided each other, not sure how to deal with their feelings. During this time it became apparent that a Dominion invasion was imminent, so Odo finally suggested that the two of them put any changes in their relationship "on hold". Kira agreed, and the two seemed relieved to be able to relax around one another again. Not long after a Dominion/Cardassian alliance attacked DS9, resulting in the Federation abandoning the station and the Bajoran government signing a non-aggression pact with Dominion that included turning Deep Space Nine over to them. ("A Call to Arms")

At this time Gul Dukat and Dominion forces took control of the station, with Odo and Kira the only Bajoran representatives left on board (along with a few other civilian residents, like Quark). Kira continued on as Bajoran liaison (despite her loathing for Dukat) while Odo remained in the security office (despite the fact that all his Bajoran deputies were gone).

After three months of Dominion Occupation, during which the war was going badly for the Federation, Kira convinced Odo to use his status as a Changeling (who are considered "gods" by the rest of the Dominion) to have his Bajoran security force reinstated. Weyoun, the Vorta overseer on the station, agree to do so--but only if Odo consented to sit on the station's ruling council with him and Dukat. Although worried about the compromises he might have to make dealing with the enemy in this way, Odo agreed and Kira supported him in the decision. ("A Time to Stand")

Kira, however, began to feel that staying out of the fighting and honoring Bajor's non-aggression treaty with the Dominion was making her a collaborator. This really hit home after a Vedek protesting the war committed suicide on the Promenade, driving home her need to wake up and join the fight. Telling Odo she needed to fight back if she was going to continue to be able to live with herself, he reluctantly agreed to help her set up a resistance cell on the station. ("Rocks and Shoals")

17. AFTER WHICH ODO VISITED THE "DARK SIDE"...

Organizing a resistance cell composed of herself, Odo, Jake Sisko and Quark's brother Rom, Kira launched a plan to sow the seed of dissent between the allied Cardassian and Dominion forces. Odo spoke out against the plan, claiming if they were found out it could lead Dukat to throwing every Bajoran off the station...although his worry at the danger Kira was placing herself in was also visible. Kira went ahead with the plan anyway, inciting a bloody brawl between Jem"hadar and Cardassian soldiers in Quark's.

Despite her success, Odo was angry that Kira had proceeded against his wishes. Kira, in turn, questioned Odo's commitment to their cause and his loyalties. Already under strain from the war, the two were in the middle of a bitter argument when the female changeling Odo had met on several earlier occasions appeared. Sensing the tension between Odo and Kira, and aware of the pain Odo's unrequited love for the major was causing him, the Founder offered Odo "clarity" and relief from his emotional distress through linking with her. At first Odo resisted, but his emotional pain and curiosity about his people got the better of him so that he eventually agreed to the link.

After experiencing the link Odo seemed to grow distant and disinterested in the events going on around him. Kira, horrified at what he had done, begged him not to link with the Founder again as it could give away the resistance's secrets. Odo didn't feel this was possible, but agreed anyway. Kira made an attempt to include Odo in the resistance's next plan which involved sabotaging the Dominion's plans to take down the minefield the Federation had placed around the wormhole to prevent the Dominion from getting reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant. However Odo, already influenced by the link and in a moment of weakness, allowed the Founder to link with him again at a critical moment, ruining Kira's plan and causing Rom to be arrested by the Dominion.

An enraged Kira confronted Odo about his betrayal, only to find the link had altered his personality, making him seemingly emotionless and unconcerned with "solid" matters. Feeling he was lost to her Kira left, after which the Founder appeared and asked him "Did she upset you?" to which Odo replied, in one of the most chilling moments of the entire series, "No...not really." ("Behind the Lines")

But the Founder had underestimated Odo's bond with Kira. While the major worked feverishly to thwart the Dominion's destruction of the minefield, and the Federation planned a counterattack, Odo was caught up in the link and unconcerned with all else. However, when the Founder convinced Odo to show her how humanoids mate, the resulting experience apparently filled him with dissatisfaction, realizing how empty it was without any real feeling involved. This, and hearing the other changeling describe how they would "tame" the solids they conquered, continued to plants seeds of doubt in his mind. ("Favor the Bold")

In time Kira and her other cell members were arrested, and the Founder told Odo that she would be put to death. Finally breaking free of the allure of the link, Odo rescued Kira and Rom (who had escaped their cell only to be trapped by Jem'hadar). When Kira asked him why he had changed his mind, Odo replied "I think you know why." Then he told her that, while the link was paradise for his kind, "...I'm not ready for paradise."

Soon after the Federation won a major victory against the Dominion, who were driven off the station. As they prepared to leave Weyoun asked the Founder if Odo was coming. She replied, "No...but he will join us eventually. It's only a matter of time." ("Sacrifice of Angels")

18. DID KIRA FORGIVE ODO AFTERWARDS?

Still uncomfortable and after avoiding each other for about a week, Kira finally cornered Odo during a party the night before Dax's marriage to Worf. Saying that they had to talk, the two spent the night discussing what had happened in Dax's bedroom closet, where the Trill found them the next morning--still talking. Although the viewer was not privileged to hear what they decided, apparently they found some way to work through their recent problems. ("You Are Cordially Invited")

But the real problem remained. Odo still didn't know how to approach Kira about changing their relationship, and Kira was still unsure of the true nature of her feelings for Odo. This continued reticence on both their parts led Kira to a brief affair with an alternate universe counterpart of her deceased lover, Vedek Bareil. However, this Bareil turned out to be a thief who was in league with Kira's alternate counterpart, the Indentant, in order to steal a Bajoran orb. While the mirror- Bareil developed feelings enough for the major to stop the Intendant from stealing the orb, he decided he couldn't give up his life of crime and returned with the Intendant to the mirror universe. And good riddance. ("Resurrection")

And still the tension lingered on. For instance, when Kira learned that years ago her mother had been forced into being a "comfort woman" during the Cardassian occupation, Odo tried to draw her out on the matter and get her to talk about it--but an uneasy Kira didn't feel she could. ("Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

It was starting to seem as if these two would NEVER confront their feelings...

...but then help came from the most unlikely source of all.

19. ...AND TRUE LOVE FINDS A "WAY"

Months later, Kira and Odo were part of a group Dr. Bashir was showing around his new holosuite program, a recreation of a Las Vegas lounge from the 1960's. Performing in the lounge was Vic Fontaine, "...a very unusual hologram." Besides being aware that he was in fact a holographic character, Vic also possessed phenomenal people skills. He was able to deduce that Worf and Dax were married, that Chief O'Brien missed his wife...and that Odo was "nuts" for Kira. After leaving the holosuite, Dax casually mentioned that Kira was on her way to Bajor to meet with Shakaar--which Odo feared meant the two were getting back together.

Finally summoning the courage to do something, Odo "borrowed" the holoprogram and asked Vic for advice on how to win over Kira. Vic advised him to "thaw out", to learn how to have fun and express his emotions. Odo was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. Over the next week Odo played piano for Vic during his act, socialized with Vic's holographic ladyfriends, and was even introduced to a holographic double of Kira to "practice" on.

But Odo still was ruled by his doubts, and couldn't bring himself to apply his "love lessons" to real life. When he saw the real Kira returning from Bajor, he immediately froze up and retreated. Later Kira, trying to meditate in a holographic temple, was surprised to be approached by Vic, who wanted to talk to her about Odo. At first Kira refused to discuss the matter, saying Odo should talk to her himself. But finally Vic convinced Kira to join Odo in the holosuite that evening for dinner. Then the singer called Odo and told him he had redesigned the Kira hologram and Odo should come by that evening to try it out, also during dinner.

That evening Odo, thinking he was only talking to a hologram, relaxed and managed to open up with his feelings to Kira, telling her that he had used his work to avoid the rest of his life. Kira admitted she had done the same, and was clearly charmed and intrigued by this heretofore unseen side of the constable. Then they danced, and it was obvious that Kira was finally managing to see Odo as more than a friend.

But then Odo made a slip and Kira realized he thought she was a hologram. Vic confirmed she was the real thing, and a devastated Odo immediately retreated back into his shell and out of the holosuite. The next day Vic called him in the security office, but Odo said he wasn't listening to Vic anymore, that he was sure Kira preferred Shakaar, particularly after the way Odo felt he had made a fool out of himself. As far as he believed, he had lost his last chance with the major.

Cut to Kira walking down the Promenade with Dax. The major asked her friend, "Have you ever had a moment of pure clarity, a moment when the truth just seems to reach out and grab you by the throat?" Dax said she had, but only once or twice in seven lifetimes. She then advised Kira to act on those feelings immediately, before doubt or fear set in.

Just then Odo walked out of the security office. Kira told Dax she was experiencing another moment of clarity, and she ran to catch Odo.

Meeting him in the middle of the Promenade, Odo told her they should just forget about last night. Kira disagreed and said they needed to talk about it.

Odo--apparently feeling he was going to get a stern reprimand-- said they should meet in his office.

Kira disagreed and suggested they talk over dinner instead. "Anywhere but a holosuite."

"What about Shakaar?" Odo asked bluntly. Kira told him that she and Shakaar are just friends now, that she only gone to Bajor to brief him on the war. So did Odo want to have dinner or not?

Unbelieving, afraid, and just completely frustrated, Odo answered, "And if we do, then what?" Kira couldn't believe he wasn't getting it. "I don't know--I suppose we can go dancing."

Odo's frustration builds: "And after that I suppose you'd expect me to kiss you."

And so does Kira's: "Well, it's possible."

Now Odo is practically shouting. "Then who needs dinner? Why don't I get it over with and kiss you right now?"

And Kira shouts right back, "WELL THEN, WHY DON'T YOU!?"

And he pulls her to him and kisses her.

For a good minute he kisses her, in front of Dax, Quark, and about a hundred bystanders on the Promenade. (IMHO, the most passionate kiss in the whole history of STAR TREK.)

After a moment they pull apart. Kira looks at him in wonder. Breathless, she says "You're right--who needs dinner?"

And then they went back to kissing...

Some time later Odo visited Vic in the holosuite. Vic mentioned that he had heard from Dr. Bashir that Odo and Kira were "quite an item" now. Odo admitted it was true, but still wasn't sure if he could bring himself to believe it would last. "That's my Odo...always ready to turn victory into defeat." To which Odo just smiled and thanked the singer for all his help. "Anytime, pal." ("His Way")

And so after six long years, after ugly secrets and bitter arguments, after amazing discoveries and tragic misunderstandings, through galactic wars, time paradoxes, political intrigue, and a seemingly unending series of romantic rivals, Odo and Kira are finally a couple. No doubt challenge, adventure, and even tragedy still lie ahead for them. But if there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that NOTHING can extinguish true love--and love will always find a way.

"She never had so sweet a changeling." - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III Scene I


This site was referenced in the December, 1998 issue of YAHOO! Internet Life magazine. Please send any comments you might have on it to Gary Himes.

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