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 be --

GreenWoman, 1/15/97


"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 hours."

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 theory."

"Oh? Which theory is that?"

"Just a crazy notion of mine. That, once in a while, two wrongs can make a right."

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 you feel?"

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..."

"...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."

"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 untruth.

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.

"Yes, Major?"

"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 about?"

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 fight..."

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 theory."

"Lagniappe. Two cures for the price of one." Bashir grinned smugly. "Damn, I'm good."

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