With thanks and apologies to Paramount, and proceeding on the assumption that
forgiveness is easier to ask than permission:
-- This story takes place following The Darkness and the Light, and before the
next new episode The Powers That Be see fit to serve us, whichever one that turns out to
"Well, except for exhaustion, a few bruises, a pulled muscle or two ... she's
fine," Dr. Bashir assured Kira Nerys' concerned rescuers. "I've given her a
sedative to help her rest. She'll be drifting in and out of sleep for the next several
Sisko frowned, glancing across the room at the biobed. "I thought the herbs she's
been taking counteracted sedatives."
Bashir smiled tightly. "There aren't enough herbs on Bajor to hold off the effects
of what I just gave her," he said. "The child won't be affected, but Major Kira
will spend the rest of the trip back to the station dependably in one place."
"When can I talk to her?"
"Well, now, if you like. But Commander ... "
Bashir hesitated. "I'd rather you waited. She's still showing some signs of shock.
She's been very quiet ... unnaturally so, for Kira. I was actually going to ask Mr. Odo
The security chief standing at Sisko's side tore his eyes from the biobed and stared
blankly at Bashir.
"You're her friend," Bashir answered Odo's unspoken question. "I thought
she might respond more quickly to you than to anyone else. Will you stay here for a while
... talk to her if she wakes up? Nothing stressful ... no questions." The doctor s
eyes emphasized the warning. "Just give her a chance to come back slowly."
"Of course." Odo walked over to the biobed and seated himself gingerly in the
chair next to it. Sisko looked at Bashir with doubt in his expression. "Doctor,
considering the mood he's been in for the past several weeks, Odo's bedside manner might
leave a lot to be desired. Not to mention the fact that his friendship with Kira has been
a bit ... strained, lately."
"I've noticed, Commander," Bashir said quietly. "I'm trying to prove a
"Oh? Which theory is that?"
"Just a crazy notion of mine. That, once in a while, two wrongs can make a
Odo found himself alone with Kira Nerys, wondering what use he could possibly be to her
now. It's my fault she had to face this alone...I failed her completely. His eyes
studied her profile in the reduced light.
Kira's head turned, and Odo saw her eyes glittering beneath her lashes. "Major...
" He shifted his weight forward in the chair and leaned closer to her. "How do
She turned her face away.
"Dr. Bashir says you're going to be just fine," Odo offered helplessly.
Kira didn't move. What can I say to her? he wondered bitterly. Say anything,
you fool...just talk to her...
"Of course, Commander Sisko is eager to speak to you as soon as you feel up to it.
I think he has some...mixed feelings...about the way that you handled this situation. But
I explained your point of view to him..."
Commander, she was in danger. She felt she had to protect herself, and the child.
Dammit, that s *your* job!
"...and I think he knows why you did what you did. Anyway, don't let it worry
you," Odo said softly. "You can discuss it with him later."
The Bajoran woman shifted her weight until she lay partially on her side, curling her
body reflexively around her swollen belly as if for warmth. Her eyes were fixed on some
vague point in the middle distance.
"I spoke to Chief O'Brien," Odo pressed on. "He's very glad you and the
baby are safe. He was a little upset about you just taking off like that..."
"...but I explained the situation to him and now I think he understands. Although
he says he s not quite sure what he s going to tell Mrs. O Brien when she gets home."
Kira squeezed her eyes shut, a moment too late ... a vagrant streak of moisture on her
cheek revealed the lapse to Odo's sharp eyes. He sighed.
"I also placed a call to First Minister Shakaar." Odo kept his voice level
and reassuring. "It took a while to get through, but I managed ... I knew he'd be
very worried about you."
She's all right, First Minister. We re on our way back to the station ... can you meet
What? Meet you on DS9? No, I m afraid I can't. I m very busy here, Constable.
Oh, don't worry about Nerys ... she's tough. She'll be fine. I know I can count on you
to take care of her for me.
"He was very relieved to hear you were safe. He sends his love, and said to tell
you that he's trying to arrange a visit to the station soon." Odo lied carefully,
hoping that Kira's sharp instincts were too dulled by stress and sedation to detect the
Kira unexpectedly stretched her arm out in Odo s direction. Startled, he took her hand
in both of his, squeezing it comfortingly. Kira squeezed back.
"Odo?" Her voice was thin, but firm.
"I was wrong to go charging off the way I did. I'm sorry."
"It's all right, Major."
"No, it's not all right. I should have trusted you."
"It appears we're fortunate that you chose not to." Odo's voice was strained.
Kira sighed wearily. "I'm too tired to fight with you, Odo. Humor me, and agree,
okay? Just say, Of course, Nerys, whatever you say."
Odo responded automatically. "Of course, Ne-- Major. Whatever you say."
"Thank you, Constable." Kira shifted her weight again, still seeking a
comfortable position. She tightened her grip on Odo s hand. "Stay with me for a
while, will you, Odo? Talk to me?"
"Of course, Major," he said obediently. "What would you like me to talk
The corners of Kira s mouth twitched. "Just how angry is Benjamin?" she
asked. Odo's heart lifted at the hint of a familiar lilt in her voice.
"Well," he began, "I overheard him say something to Dr. Bashir about
waiting to discuss this with you until you were well enough that he could call it a fair
Stopping by later, Sisko was greeted by a broad smile on Bashir's face. The doctor
directed his commanding officer s gaze toward the shadowed corner of Sick Bay where the
Constable and the Major were talking quietly together. Odo held Kira s hand in his; a
faint smile lay lightly on her face.
"Lagniappe, Doctor," murmured Sisko, pleased.
"I beg your pardon, sir?"
"An old Cajun expression my Dad likes to use. It means ... the thirteenth bienget
in a baker's dozen. A few shrimp more than a pound in the measure. Something
extra." Sisko's eyes shone softly. "It looks as if you've proven your
"Lagniappe. Two cures for the price of one." Bashir grinned smugly.
"Damn, I'm good."
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