Summary: You’ve never met a girl like Jadzia Dax before, and no matter how many lifetimes she lives, you never will again.
Characters: Kira, J Dax, E Dax
Codes: Kira & J Dax, Kira/J Dax, Kira & E Dax
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the DS9 universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
And I'm sick of pretending
I'm broken from bending
I've lived too long on my knees
“I’ve never had a friend like you before,” you tell her after the first time she drags you to the holosuite.
And it’s true: before you met Jadzia you’d never experienced the joy of being frivolous. You’ve never really been frivolous. It’s hard to find room for play when every last scrap of your energy is consumed by merely surviving.
Jadzia laughs at first, thinking you’re indulging her. But when you don’t smile back, all the delight drains from her eyes and she looks unutterably sad.
She says, “I’ve lived seven lifetimes, and not one of them has required the strength you had before you were seven years old.”
Then she touches your hand and turns away, allowing you the privacy to blink away unexpected, painful, burning tears.
Holosuites are a whimsy you’ve always scorned. They smell like comfort and privilege, things you have always resisted and continue to resist, because comfort, to you, equates to favours your countrywomen gave to Cardassians. It means betraying everything you believe in; everything you’ve ever fought for.
It’s why you were so angry, at first, that the Emissary turned out to be a Starfleet officer. What could this man of privilege possibly know of suffering like a Bajoran?
And it’s why you resent Starfleet’s presence on this station, in this sector, in your home. After all, what is the presence of these new uniforms – these peace-loving, insidious uniforms – but a new form of oppression?
Intellectually, you know that it isn’t the same thing at all.
But you’ve never been ruled by your intellect.
In the face of these peace-loving, insidious Starfleet officers, however, you begin to lose your grasp on anger. You smile more; you laugh. You no longer startle at loud or unexpected noises, reaching automatically for a weapon. You go to Quark’s. You become frivolous.
You wonder just how much of that is Jadzia’s influence. You wonder if being around her is turning you soft.
Gradually, eventually, you come to the realisation that she might actually be good for you.
Two days later, you ask her to join you in the holosuite again.
O baby I waited so long for your kiss
for something to happen, oh, something like this.
When you begin to realise the truth of your feelings, you take pains to avoid her.
At first, she lets you. That upsets you, and inside your head you accuse her of all kinds of transgressions: she’s trying to make you jealous; she’s playing games; she doesn’t actually care.
It’s quite a while before you admit to yourself that the first two are your own projection, and the third is your fear.
Even then, she waits with the patience afforded her by seven lifetimes for you to come to your senses … until that patience runs out.
She comes to your quarters. She reproaches you with those big, limpid blue eyes. She uses reason. Eventually she yells at you, and that’s the tactic that finally goads you into reacting. Anger always did provoke your own.
But it’s your anger that gives her the opportunity she’s been looking for. While your mouth is forming furious inarticulate words and your colour high, she steps into your space and kisses you.
You forget everything else but the softness of her lips, the safety and strength of her arms as she envelops you in them. She’s everything you never knew you’d dreamed of – you, the half-wild provincial girl, the baby terrorist with the dirty face and the suspicious mind – and you can’t imagine ever wanting to leave.
“I’ve never had a girlfriend like you before,” you tell her, and she doesn’t laugh like you half-expect her to. She just smiles, and leans in to kiss you again.
You don’t understand how someone as light as air can possibly emit such inescapable gravity, but she holds you in her orbit with ease, and you decide for the first time in your life that you’re okay with going along for the ride.
It don't matter how you worship
as long as you're down on your knees
The depth of your grief goes unnoticed, mostly, because it manifests as anger, and everyone is used to your anger.
You have to force yourself to enter the shrine. She died in there; she died because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She didn’t die a hero’s death, the way she deserved. She wasn’t even the target.
You dream of gutting Dukat like a fish. You lie awake in your bed, rigid and trembling, imagining all the ways you would kill him, if you could.
For a time, you lose your grip on your faith. You compensate for this with overt piety, and because the captain – the Emissary – is grappling with his own place in the universe, you think you’re getting away with it.
Then Ezri shows up – that small, slight shadow of the woman you would have willingly died for. This girl you don’t know, but who knows all your secrets.
Everyone expects Worf to avoid Ezri. But you? You’re the station’s second-in-command; you have a responsibility to accept her. Just as the Emissary does. More, you’re supposed to be her friend.
You don’t want to be her friend. You want Jadzia back.
But circumstances force you into Ezri’s orbit, and just like Jadzia, she looks into your soul and you are unmasked. Exposed.
“You’re the strongest person I’ve ever known,” she says. “Don’t lose your faith, Nerys. Don’t lose who you are.”
Strangely, you don’t mind. You begin to seek Ezri out, to confide in her, to unfurl like a flower. You drink with her at Quark’s.
You invite her to the holosuite.
In a frivolous holoprogram that Jadzia would have loved, Ezri tells you a story, and in the middle of laughter you break down in tears. You turn into her embrace – you, the half-wild girl who never cried over your empty stomach or the loss of your mother or the injustice that stole away your dreams – you bury your face in the crook of her neck and sob.
“I know you miss her,” says Ezri, holding your hand. “But I’m here.”
And she is.
You’ve never had a friend like Dax, in any of her incarnations. But you understand at last that Jadzia’s greatest gift to you was the chance to know her.
And the blessings come from heaven
and for something like a second
I'm cured and my heart is at ease