DS9: Kira/Ezri; Rated PG; First in the Friends and Lovers Series [Takes place roughly 6 weeks after the episode WYLB.]
It was just another in a long line of bad days. Kira couldn't actually remember the last time she'd had a "good" day. It had started out with two of the upper docking clamps malfunctioning; the clamps wouldn't extend. Nog had assured her he'd have a team right on it. Because of that, the Exeter and the Roq'vet had to be redirected. The shuttle carrying her new Chief of Security was running two hours behind schedule and the station refit was a complete disaster. They'd be lucky to have everything fully operational in six months. And she couldn't remember the last time she'd gotten a good night's sleep.
"Colonel," her comm screeched at her, "about the charity auction tonight, I..."
"Quark, I told you the last time to leave me alone. I'm too busy."
"I know; you've got a lot of things on your mind," he wheedled, "but it's for a good cause: The Cardassian relief effort. If you'd just come down and bid on something, or donate something we could auction off..."
"Quark," she took a deep breath, wishing she could count to ten, but knowing with that long a pause he'd start in again, "do you really want me to hurt you?"
"I'll bid for you!" he said quickly. "Just give me your permission. I promise I'll be frugal."
Kira snorted. Frugal was Quark's middle name. Still, if it would get him off her back... "Okay, fine, if it means I don't have to hear from you again for the rest of the day, you have my permission."
"You won't regret--"
She terminated the comm and sat back in her chair.
I wonder if I have time for a quick cup of--
Ensign Selzner's voice cut into her musing. "Colonel Kira, the shuttle from Bajor -- the one you wanted me to let you know about -- has just requested permission to dock."
So much for my relaxing moment. "I'll meet them at the airlock." Time to welcome her new Security Chief to the station.
Kira's walk to the airlock was brisk and purposeful. No loitering or sightseeing for her. She'd been running on 23-hour workdays lately, with no sign of relief in sight. She knew what Benjamin would tell her if he were there: "Rest, Nerys, that's an order."
"New Security Chief here?" Commander Jast asked, falling into step with Kira.
"Two hours late but who's keeping track?" Most of the time Kira tried to keep her frustration to herself, but experience had told her she wasn't very good at it. She was afraid this was one of those times.
She stole a glance at Jast. When the Bolian had first arrived on the station, Kira wasn't sure what to make of her. She was quiet, but personable and efficient. She took orders well, but didn't hesitate to tell Kira when she thought she was wrong. In time they'd learned to work favorably with each other. Actually, Jast had proven to be a blessing from the Prophets; she was magnificent when it came to dealing with Starfleet bureaucrats. Whatever Kira lacked in diplomacy, Jast more than made up for it. She couldn't ask for a better first officer.
"I'd walk with you the whole way," Jast finally replied, "but I'm needed in Quark's -- an Andorian got a little too friendly with his new Dabo girl." She put her hand on Kira's shoulder and they halted their walk along the Promenade. "Just try to keep in mind that the shuttle's mechanical problems were not her fault."
Kira nodded and continued on her way. Jast was right, as usual, but with all the delays in and around the station lately, it was hard not to try to put the blame on someone. It was easier to vent her frustration on a live person, rather than accepting things as the "will of the Prophets." She knew the Prophets would never give her more than she could handle, she just wished they wouldn't pile it all on at once.
As it turned out, Lt. Ro Laren was waiting at the airlock when Kira got there. "Permission to come aboard, Colonel?"
"You're not in Starfleet anymore, Lieutenant," Kira answered testily.
"I know; I was just being polite," Ro replied. If she wondered about Kira's attitude toward her, she didn't say anything.
Then again, she's probably gotten plenty of attitude from Starfleet and Bajoran alike. "I'll show you to your quarters so you can stow your gear, then to the Security office." Kira hadn't been able to bring herself to enter the office since Odo had left. She assumed everything was in order.
She took off walking, taking for granted that Ro would follow. After hefting her bag onto her shoulder, the lieutenant did just that. Her commission was from the Bajoran Militia; Starfleet had been persuaded not to press charges against her, and with the advanced tactical courses she'd taken at the Academy, plus the years of fighting with the Maquis, the Militia had given her the rank and the position. Reluctantly, Kira had agreed. They needed someone in charge of security -- fast -- and time would tell if Ro was cut out for the part.
"Things are chaotic, to say the best. We've been designated as a 'middle-man' so to speak, in the Cardassian war relief effort. The station is seeing more civilian and military traffic than it ever has before. Add in the refits, the lack of adequate personnel, and the constant worry that the Founders will break the treaty and Jem'Hadar ships will pour from the wormhole at any second and, well... you're going to have your hands full. It's only been six weeks since the end of the war and--"
"Do you always talk this much?" Ro butted in.
Kira stopped in her tracks. "Excuse me?" So much for starting out on the right foot.
"Sorry," Ro apologized, sounding sincere. "I sometimes have a habit of speaking before thinking."
Kira resumed walking. She'd been accused of that on more than one occasion. "I was just trying to catch you up to date on the station--"
"I had plenty of time while waiting for the shuttle to be repaired to read the latest reports. I think I'm pretty familiar with what's happening on the station."
Just as cocky as I thought she'd be. I give her a week, two at the most. "Here we are." Kira's voice was filled with forced cheer. "Since you're so familiar with the station, I'm sure you know where the security office is."
"Actually, I do."
"Sergeant Wasa Graim is waiting for your call. He's been in charge since... since Odo left. He'll catch you up on the latest security reports."
Ro nodded her head, and disappeared inside her quarters.
Kira rubbed the bridge of her nose and headed back for Ops. I wonder if it's too late to refuse my promotion, and settle down in a house on Bajor. The Kendra province is nice...
"You what?" Kira had a hold of Quark by both lobes. If the squeal of pain he gave, and the reddish tinge to his face were any indications, it wasn't a love squeeze.
"I can't talk with you holding my lobes," he whined.
She let go, grudgingly, and stood with her hands on her hips. "You have five seconds to explain what happened last night."
His words came out in a rush. "I couldn't find anything in the auction I thought you'd like. Sure there was this holoprogram featuring something called--"
"Quark..." Kira warned. He sometimes had a habit of straying off topic.
"I decided to..." He was visibly nervous, twisting his hands, shifting from foot to foot, acting more like Rom than like himself. "I put you up for auction!"
"You put me up for auction?" He'd done some stupid things in the past, but this had to take the cake.
"Not you as in your person, but you as a date. 'A date with Colonel Kira Nerys,' that's what I said. I mean, who wouldn't jump at the chance to go out with a voluptuous, long-fingered--" At Kira's look of anger he hurried on. "After all, it's for charity. And I got a good price, too: fifty-two strips of latinum. Not slips, or chips but strips."
"You're lying," Kira scoffed. "No one would pay that much for a date with me... unless..." He wouldn't dare...
"It wasn't me!" he protested, following her train of thought. "It was Lieutenant Dax! She paid for the date with you."
Kira was even more incredulous. "Ezri? Ezri paid fifty-two strips of latinum to go on a date with me? Why would she do that?"
"I don't know, because she hasn't seen much of you lately? None of us have seen much of you lately, unless it's you walking from one crisis to another. Commander Jast said that you need--"
"Commander Jast talks too much sometimes," Kira interrupted him before he started off-track again.
"Yes, well, Ezri won the date with you, fair and square, and you wouldn't want to go back on your word, would you? You said I had your permission to participate in the auction in your name, and think of all the orphans that money would feed..."
"Not to mention the ten percent you get off the top for hosting the auction in the first place." Kira shook her finger in his face. "You win this time, Quark, but don't think I'll forget about this anytime soon."
"Of course not," he said, a placating whine to his voice. "Ezri said to tell you she'd meet you here tomorrow night, at oh-seven- hundred."
"Is there anything else I should know? Any other surprises you have for me, Quark?"
"No, nothing, not a thing." Quark was quick to reassure her.
Kira walked out without a backward glance. A date with Ezri. What in the name of the Prophets was she thinking? And I thought the meeting with Ro yesterday would be the most exciting thing this week. Boy, was I wrong.
Kira was nothing if not prompt. She scanned the interior of Quark's looking for Ezri. She wished the counselor had chosen some place less prominent. I wonder if it would be in bad taste to check the table for listening devices? I wouldn't put anything past Quark...
There she was, in a corner table at the far end of the room. Kira wove her way toward the table, sidestepping eager Dabo players and waiters with precariously balanced trays.
Ezri saw her and stood up.
Nice clothes. Has to be by S'milla. The seamstress who had moved into Garak's old shop was almost the exact opposite of the Cardassian pseudo-tailor; her designs bore an unmistakable mark of understated elegance. Ezri was wearing a magenta colored sleeveless wrap-around dress that made her blue eyes electric. Her short hair was styled in a spiky windswept look.
I knew I should have taken more time with my appearance... Kira hadn't known what to expect, other than dinner with Ezri, so had worn tan slacks with a white blouse. At the last moment, she'd wrapped a scarf around her neck, one that Shakaar had given her, in colors of copper, red and ivory. Now she felt underdressed.
Oh well, grin and bear it, as Dax would have said. Except that Dax was there, taking her hand and thanking her for coming to dinner and sitting across from her. She'd gotten used to the idea of a new Dax host with all of Jadzia's memories, but at times it was still weird. I wonder if Benjamin ever felt like this?
"I hope you don't mind, but I went ahead and ordered for us," Ezri was saying. "After the busy day I've had, I'm hungry enough to eat a targ."
Kira's stomach rumbled at the thought of food and she chuckled. "I guess I'm a little hungry, too."
Broik, one of Quark's new waiters, appeared and took Kira's drink order. She opted for some plain water. Quark will probably find a way to charge me for that.
Ezri took a sip of her drink, a frothy concoction that smelled citrus-y and sweet. "I know what you're dying to ask me."
Kira just raised her eyebrows.
"Why I paid so much for a date with you." Ezri sat back in her chair, waiting for Kira to say something.
"You're right. Why would you pay so much for a date with me? Why would you pay anything at all?"
She leaned forward and laid her hand on Kira's. "Because I consider you one of the best friends I have on this station -- one of my best friends, period -- and I've seen you maybe twice in the past month. And that's only been because you've had a question or two about some of the officers."
Kira ran a hand through her hair. "You know how taxed the station is..." She shook her head. "Of course you do, you don't need me to tell you that." She took her drink from Broik and took a big gulp. "I apologize for not being around more socially. I've hardly had time to sleep, let alone socialize."
"Okay," Ezri seemed satisfied with the apology. "How is Lieutenant Ro working out?"
"It's only been two days. Fine, I guess." She hasn't locked herself in a cell yet. That's a plus.
Ezri waited as their food arrived: baked salmon on a bed of rice pilaf, steamed broccoli and a salad made of Bajoran greens with a spicy Vulcan dressing. When Broik had left again, she replied, "I know you've been busy; as you said yourself, we all have. But Nerys, you've got to take time for yourself. Whether you're meditating, walking along Krelvek Beach on Bajor, or playing grav-ball in one of Quark's holosuites, you've got to have time away from work." Ezri's eyes were wise beyond her youthful appearance. "If you don't, you'll become an embittered old woman whose life is full of regrets."
"Is that Dax speaking, or Ezri?" Kira asked, trying to lighten the mood.
"Both of us," Ezri answered, smiling. "And consider that an order from the station counselor."
"Very well," Kira said solemnly, "I promise to take more 'me time.' How's that?"
"Not great, but it's a start." Ezri picked up her fork and speared a piece of broccoli. "Now, let's eat!"
Kira thought dinner was great. Excellent food, pleasant conversation, and no Quark hovering over their shoulders. I'll have to ask her how much she paid him to stay away.
"Kira," Ezri said, a serious tone to her voice that Kira wasn't sure she'd heard before, "I have a proposition for you."
"You've been around Quark too much."
Ezri had her full attention. "Okay, I'm listening."
Ezri stared straight into her eyes. "I want you to come back to my quarters with me."
She's not saying what I think she's saying. "What?"
"One night, you and me, no commitments, no regrets." Ezri leaned forward, a determined look on her face. "Without going into the details right now, I need something -- I need to feel wanted, and needed, and attractive and... I need to _feel_, period."
She is saying what I think she's saying. "I thought you were seeing Julian."
"I don't know what Julian and I are to each other anymore. I never see him, and when I do, it's always about what he wants, what he needs." She gave a tiny, hiccuping laugh. "Listen to me; I sound like Audrid..."
"Ezri, maybe you should be having this conversation with Julian."
"Maybe, but I'd rather have it with you." Ezri ran her fingers lightly over Kira's cheek. "I want you to feel again, too, Nerys. I want you to realize what a loving, vibrant, sensual woman you are. I saw some of that in you, when you were with Odo, and I don't want you to bury that side of you."
Kira tried not to tense up at the mention of Odo's name, but it was almost impossible. She was sure Ezri saw it, but didn't care. She'd loved him -- still loved him -- and no matter that the reason he left was a good one, it didn't make it any easier.
What she's proposing is ludicrous. If Julian knew, or if Odo ever found out...
"I think it's time for me to leave," Kira said, putting her napkin on the table and starting to rise.
"Please, just think about it while you walk me to my quarters. Just... consider it."
I'd be crazy for even considering it in the first place. "Fine, I'll walk you to your quarters."
Ezri's eyes shone, even bluer than they were before, if that was possible. "Thank you, Nerys."
The walk back to Ezri's quarters wasn't a long one. Along the way, Ezri told Kira about some of the more "eccentric" people she'd dealt with recently, and had Kira laughing with an anecdote about Quark and a pet tribble.
When they got to Ezri's door, they stopped, neither one saying a word. Kira broke the silence. "Goodnight, Ezri."
Ezri gave a sad little half-smile. "Goodnight, Nerys. I had a wonderful evening." She keyed the lock for her quarters and disappeared inside.
Kira just stood there. *What are you doing? Just turn around and go to your own quarters. Get a good night's sleep for once. Spend more than just fifteen minutes meditating. Just do something...*
Kira rang Ezri's chime. The door opened, Ezri standing there in a short, midnight blue kimono. "Nerys?"
"One night, no promises, no regrets." Kira pushed past her and stood in the center of the room looking around nervously, anywhere but at Ezri.
"Nerys, you don't have--"
"Ezri, I'm here. I'm not exactly sure why, but... I'm here."
"Nerys," Ezri laid a hand on her arm, "have you ever been with another woman?"
Kira wet her lips. "Once," she answered honestly, "when I was in the Resistance."
Ezri gently turned Kira around until they were standing almost toe-to-toe. "Why don't you go get comfortable on the bed. I'll be in in a minute, okay?"
Kira nodded her head and headed for the bedroom. She stripped, and slid under the sheets. This is crazy. You're a nutcase, Nerys, a nutcase. Ezri's cute and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit attracted to her, but this is still insane... She yawned, and wrapped the covers closer around her. She hadn't realized how tired she really was. Maybe Jast and Ezri were right: she needed to take better care of herself, get more sleep, take more downtime. Soon as the refits are finished...
A featherlike touch to her hip roused Kira from sleep. For a moment she snuggled deeper into the pillow, sure she was in her own bed, in her own quarters. She shivered as a hand skimmed down the outside of her thigh. Her bare thigh. In a flash the dinner, the proposal, and everything afterward came rushing back to her. She opened her eyes and locked gazes with Ezri. The hand stilled on Kira's hip.
"You looked so peaceful," Ezri whispered, "I didn't mean to wake you up." She was naked, her spots adorning her skin like drops of chocolate.
Kira took a deep breath. "I'm okay. You don't have to stop."
Ezri rolled to her side, resting her head on her arm. With her other hand, she traced the slight curve of Kira's breast, ending with her fingers resting on the nipple. The dark nipple automatically tightened, pulling up into a hard point. Ezri's fingers started a dance around Kira's aroused nipple, teasing and hardening it even more. She lowered her head, taking the nipple between her lips. Kira moaned, enjoying the sensation of Ezri's mouth sucking and licking her breast, teeth nibbling at the swollen nipple. She couldn't help herself; her fingers started stroking her clit.
Ezri noticed and pulled Kira's hand away from herself. "Let me," she said.
Kira arched her back when Ezri lowered her mouth to her clit. Bajoran female anatomy was basically the same as Trill or Terran, with the difference of a smaller, less visible clit. Ezri's mouth expertly found the small nub and started working magic.
It's been so long. Did it ever feel this good? Kira's legs were open and she felt her clitoral nub swell and push from beneath its hood. She moved her hand up to squeeze her breast, as Ezri went down on her.
"Ohhhh . . .," Kira groaned as Ezri's little tongue tickled her clit. She felt the steely rub of the tip of Ezri's tongue as it slid over her slippery slit. Kira looked down, tangling one of her hands into Ezri's short hair. Her head bobbed up and down, as her tongue continued to pump in and out of Kira's wet pussy. It had been too long, and the sensation was too much.
"I'm, oh, so close . . . " Kira's body trembled with the intense orgasm. She shook all over, fighting the urge to snap her legs shut during the intense climax. Ezri eased up on her touch, sitting back on her heels and wiping her face. Ezri raked her fingertips gently up Kira's body as she stretched out besdie her. She wrapped her arms around her, taking her in a warm embrace. Kira lay quietly, not wishing to break the spell. Finally, she just had to speak. "Ezri, I don't know what to say."
"There's nothing to say. I'm just glad you enjoyed it," Ezri replied. She kissed Kira on the forehead. "I told you I wanted to be with you tonight, to feel that I was wanted and needed and cared about, and you did all that. But more importantly, tonight was about you, and getting you to realize that just because Odo is gone, doesn't mean you have to put your life on hold."
Kira looked up at her, knowing the truth in her words, but a part of her still fighting them. She's talking like I'll never see him again. She doesn't know that for sure. I don't know that for sure. He could come back anytime.
Ezri bent her head slightly and touched her lips to Kira's, very softly. "Just think about what I said. And what you felt tonight."
Tucked in Ezri's arm, head lying beside her breast, Kira dozed again. She woke to find Ezri sitting in a chair, blanket covering her naked body. She was staring at her, a look in her eyes that Kira wasn't ready to see, let alone talk about.
I've got to get out of here. Kira rose from the bed, and grabbed up her clothes, holding them to her like a shield. She hurried to the bathroom and dressed as quickly as she could. She exited, heading for the door.
"Any regrets?" Ezri called out in a soft voice.
Kira stopped inches from the door and turned around. I have to be honest with her. I owe her that much at least. "Only that I can't stay."
"You can't... or you won't?"
I wish I knew the answer to that myself.
"Does it matter?" Kira finally answered.
Leaving Ezri alone in the dark, she turned and walked out the door.