A newly joined Jadzia Dax meets an intriguing Gallamite captain and embarks on a non-traditional relationship with him.
Author's Note: This chapter is set during the Deep Space Nine episodes "Let He Who is Without Sin" (2373), "You are Cordially Invited" (2374), and "Penumbra" (2375)
The last few weeks had been like a whirlwind for Jadzia Dax. There was the usual hectic pace of life as a senior staff member on DS9 (a trip back in time that involved tribbles for example) but that really wasn't out of the ordinary. What really had her life turned upside down was the rather abrupt turn that her relationship with Worf had taken. Overnight they'd gone from friends to lovers and to say it had been a wild ride would be an understatement.
That said, so far today was turning out to be pretty quiet, Jadzia had even been able to carve out some time to work in her science lab. While she was analyzing microbial samples, she saw a flashing icon on the nearby computer display. Jadzia tapped the icon and a message appeared.
"Back on DS9 tomorrow for some ship repairs. Lunch?"
It was Captain Boday. It has been months since he was last on the station, and a lot had happened in that time. Jadzia immediately thought of Worf- she'd never explicitly told him about her relationship with Boday, only that they'd casually dated off and on. That wasn't a complete lie, but it definitely left out the details of their "chess games."
Jadzia tapped her fingers anxiously on the lab table. She and Boday were just friends. There was no reason that she couldn't have lunch with a friend- it would be no different than Julian or Benjamin. Deep down, Jadzia was most nervous about how Boday would handle this new development in her personal life. But not too nervous to decline the invite.
"Sure thing. Let's meet on the replimat."
"So what are we doing here on the replimat making small talk? Why aren't we in your quarters, or mine for that matter?"
"Because I need to talk to you about something," Jadzia began, "Something kind of serious."
"You haven't caught anything, have you?"
Jadzia laughed, "No I haven't, and if I had I got it from you."
"Hey, I stay up to date on all my shots," he quipped.
She laughed again, "I'm trying to be serious, Boday," she paused for a moment, "I'm seeing someone."
Boday felt his stomach clench. He reached for his glass and took a drink to hide his shock, "Wasn't it your rule that we don't talk about the others?" Boday replied casually.
"It was our rule, but this is different," she sighed, "This is going to change things between us."
"Wait, you're not married are you?"
"No!" Jadzia exclaimed, "I'm just seeing someone."
"Well then how does that change things?"
Jadzia sighed again, "Please don't make this difficult, you know what I'm trying to say."
Boday sat back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest, "I need you to come out and say it so you can hear how ridiculous it sounds for yourself."
"Come on, Boday," she groaned in annoyance.
"It's your Klingon exercise partner, isn't it? I could tell that day you introduced us that you were into him. Have you two have been together all this time?" he asked, genuinely curious.
"We were just friends then," Dax felt like a teenager trying to explain her boyfriend to her parents, "Our relationship is new and I want to give it a chance. This thing between you and I will just complicate things."
"So you're playing it straight and being monogamous, huh? Is that what you want?"
"I'm not entirely sure what I want out of this. But I know it has no chance if I'm fooling around with you on the side. Worf would never understand."
"Sounds like he doesn't understand you, then."
Jadzia didn't want to admit that might be true so she pivoted the conversation with a witty retort, "I'm sure there's someone else you can find to keep you occupied for a while."
"Eh, I'll live," Boday said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "Besides, I don't think my pride could handle going behind a Klingon."
Jadzia rolled her eyes, "Ugh, don't be crude."
"I'm just saying, I hear their battle prowess translates surprisingly well to other areas."
"This one's got a lot to learn," Jadzia smirked as she took a sip from her cup, "But he's also got a very good teacher."
"Oh now look who's being crude," Boday said with a laugh, "So he's a bit of a project then?"
"It's a work in progress, in more ways than one," she paused, and then looked him in the eyes, "And I'd like to give it my full attention."
Boday nodded, "I can respect that," he sighed in feigned defeat, "Fine, enjoy your little project. You know where to find me when you get bored with it."
"Try it again,"
Doctor Julian Bashir tapped a few controls on the terminal. After a moment, the computer emitted an error noise.
"Dammit!" Chief Miles O'Brien cursed, "Let me try again…"
Lt. Commander Worf was with them in the medical bay of the Defiant, his arms crossed in his usual manner, "Perhaps Lt. Commander Dax could be of service to us."
"We're not going to get any work out of Jadzia anytime soon," Julian mumbled under his breath with a snickered laugh. Miles joined in, obviously aware of what Bashir was alluding to.
Worf was not, "Why? Is something wrong?"
Their faces straightened, "No, it's nothing. It's just, you know, when Boday shows up she tends to… disappear," Miles sputtered out nervously. Though neither had come out and said anything official yet, word on the station was that Worf and Jadzia were much more than just friends now. There were even rumors that they were planning a trip to Risa together.
Worf frowned, even more than he already was, "He is here?"
They could hear the anger rising in his voice, "They were having lunch on the promenade a little while ago, you know, just old friends catching up," Julian replied. He felt guilty at how much pleasure he was taking from watching Worf get upset.
"Yeah, I'm sure it's nothing," Miles added casually.
Worf's face was hot, and his fists began to clench. These two men were laughing at him, laughing because Jadzia was making a fool of him with her former lover- or maybe it wasn't former. This had been his biggest worry about starting a relationship with Dax, but she had assured him that she was ready to become a one-man woman. Worf wondered if Boday knew that.
"I'm sure it's just lunch, Worf, I was only trying to be funny."
"I know that!" Worf snapped defensively. He quickly calmed himself, realizing that his tone made it seem like he was worried that it more than just lunch, "I know that. Let's get back to the medical database upload, I am sure the three of us can make this work without Commander Dax."
Miles and Julian exchanged trepidatious glances, then went back to tapping buttons on the display.
Captain Boday strolled into Quark's bar after his latest run. The gamma quadrant had been closed off to Gallamite trading since the war with the Dominion began, but Boday had contacts elsewhere that kept him busy. The irony was that since he wasn't doing gamma quadrant long hauls, he'd had plenty of time to get back to DS9, like the old days. But unlike the old days, Jadzia was now occupied with her boyfriend Worf. Twice when he came to the station the two of them were away together- once to Starbase 63 and another time on some Klingon ship. Then the last time he was here all the Starfleet officers were gone while the Dominion occupied the station.
But now he was back again and things were back to normal. Boday was secretly hoping that everything was back to normal and that Jadzia was done with her little monogamy experiment.
Quark's eyes grew large when he saw who'd entered the bar, "Captain Boday, sorry but the bar's closed for a private event that's starting soon."
"Does that mean I can't get a drink?"
Quark thought a moment, "Well, if you've got the money I'm certainly not going to say no."
Boday sat at the empty bar while Quark's staff buzzed around him hanging banners and rearranging tables and chairs. Quark poured him his usual, "So what's the special event?"
"You really don't know?" Quark asked.
Boday laughed, "What, are you renting the place out for weddings now or something?"
"As a matter of fact, I am. And you'll never guess for who."
Boday slowly sat his drink down. He looked around and his eyes locked onto one of the nearby banners that had just been erected. The red and gold symbol of the Klingon empire was emblazoned on it. His eyes met Quark's, and the Ferengii gave Boday an apologetic "better luck next time" shrug.
"Where is she?"
"Probably in her quarters getting ready. But I don't think-"
Without a word, Boday was on his feet and out the door.
When Jadzia heard the door chime, she knew for certain it wouldn't be Worf. In addition to being tied to Klingon traditions, Worf also chose to honor the human tradition of the bride and groom not seeing one another before the wedding. It must be Benjamin coming to give her one last word of advice. Maybe he could help her tie her corset nice and tight.
"Enter," she said.
The door slid open, "What the hell are you doing?"
Dax had been sitting on the couch lacing her boots but when she heard his voice she jumped to her feet, "Boday, what are you doing here?"
"Are you getting married?" he demanded.
"I am. What are you doing here?" she asked again.
"The same thing I've been doing for years, Jadzia."
She put her hands on her hips in exasperation, "Of all the days for you to show up..."
"The last time I saw you, you told me you were just 'giving this a chance.' This looks like a whole lot more than that."
"That was over a year ago. A lot has changed."
They both stood there looking at one another. For the first time in his life, Boday was at a loss for words, "Well, you look amazing," he said breathlessly, "Why didn't you tell me?"
"It had been so long, I didn't think you'd be interested in my regular old, boring life," what she didn't want to say was that she hadn't really thought about him much over the last year.
"I'll never not be interested in you, Jadzia Dax."
"Boday, as much as I'd love to catch up," Jadzia sat back down and continued working on her boot laces, "I can't stress enough what a really bad time this is."
"Don't do this, Jadzia."
"Don't do what, Boday?" she parroted back mockingly.
"Dammit Dax, I'm serious. You don't have to do this."
She looked up at him soberly, "And what reason would I have not to?"
"Look, you're having fun with Worf, I get it. And I'm sure you think this is what you want to do right now. But what about 5, 10, even 30 years from now? You're closing yourself off to everyone else for the rest of your life for this one man? It's ridiculous."
Jadzia chuckled to herself at the irony of Boday trying to talk her out of getting married right after Sisko had talked her into it, "If you don't understand then there is nothing I can say that will convince you."
"I suppose you're going to tell me you're in love," Boday said, rolling his eyes.
Jadzia stood. She approached him and affectionately took his hand in hers, "You know, I remember the night we met like it just happened. You had me pegged perfectly- I was trying very hard to be interesting because I thought that's what a Dax should be. And what we've had, it was the height of interesting. But the thing is, I'm not trying to be anything anymore. I'm just me, and I'm getting married."
"You know, you could have sent me an invitation."
"I don't think my husband-to-be would have appreciated that," Jadzia replied with a laugh.
"Then let me at least kiss the bride."
Jadzia smiled and opened her arms to embrace Boday. He kissed her cheek lightly, "You really do look stunning. I hope Worf knows what an amazing woman he's getting."
"He does. Now, help me get this dress zipped up so I can go get married."
The inside of Captain Boday's ship felt oddly familiar. Ezri Dax had to get used to that- going places she'd never been or seeing people she'd never met, yet feeling completely familiar. Although, it seemed a little grimier than she remembered. It had been years since Jadzia had visited Boday on his ship, since before she and Worf were together. Ezri wondered again why she'd agreed to have dinner with him, and here of all places. She wasn't as strong as Jadzia, she didn't know how to flirt and keep men at bay the way her former host had. Then again, even Jadzia hadn't been able to resist the charms of the Gallamite captain.
Ezri stood in front of the door to his quarters trying to think of something witty to say when she entered. Jadzia always had something witty to say. Ezri, on the other hand, just over thought everything and ended up in awkward-
"So how long were you planning to just stand here?"
The door opened and there he was. He looked taller than before- but she had to remember that she was just shorter. His smile was just as big and inviting as it had always been.
"How did you know I was here?"
"I've got surveillance all over this ship, can't trust anyone these days. I was starting to think you were about to leave."
She blushed, "I almost did," Ezri admitted as she entered.
"Which is why I took the liberty of opening the door. This is quite possibly one of the most interesting things to happen to me in a long time, I couldn't have you walking away."
"That's every day of my life since being joined to Dax," she said as she took a seat.
Boday sat across from her, "I'd love to hear all about it."
The two old friends yet new acquaintances chatted as she filled him in on how she came to have the Dax symbiont and what life had been like. Boday had never had the experience of knowing a joined Trill into a second lifetime, so to him it was all very fascinating. Though as he listened to her, it became harder to separate that intrigue and fascination from the raw emotions that his memories of Jadzia brought to the surface.
Ezri could feel the change in tone from him. They were quiet for a moment, taking awkward bites of food as his face took on a dour expression, "You know," he began quietly, "I saw her, what turned out to be only a few weeks before she died."
Ezri's brow furrowed in confusion, "I don't remember that…"
"I saw her, but I don't think she saw me. I was on the station for a few days and had planned to stop and say hello to her, maybe see if she was bored with the whole marriage thing yet. As I was heading to Quark's I saw her and her husband walking together on the promenade," Boday's voice changed a bit, taking on a far away, almost dreamy tone, "She had her arm looped in his as they walked together. They stopped at an airlock and she kissed the tip of his nose and smiled at him. They way they looked at one another…" his voice trailed off and he was quiet for a moment. "Her husband stepped into the airlock and Jadzia stood there by herself, watching him I suppose. I could have gone to her then, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I knew my presence would ruin what was obviously a tender moment between them. So I walked away, and I never got to see her again."
"He was leaving for a mission on the Klingon ship Rotarran for a few days," Ezri replied, her memory filling in the blanks.
"And it was in that moment I realized that I was in love with her."
Ezri's mouth dropped open, "What?"
"I think I was in love with Jadzia."
"You're not serious?"
"Of course I am."
Ezri tried to contain herself but she couldn't help it. She tossed her head back and let out a belly laugh like she hadn't in a long time.
Boday was starting to get annoyed. He'd just poured out his heart and she was laughing. That was the kind of insensitive thing that he would do, "I can't imagine why you think this is funny."
"Why does everyone think that they're in love with Jadzia?"
"I've never felt like this about anyone, and believe me I've had lots of opportunities."
"I'm sorry for laughing," Erzi said, calming herself, "So when did you make this discovery?"
"That's what I'm trying to tell you, it was that day. When I saw her there with her husband, I knew I was in love with her. But it was too late."
"It sounds to me like you were just upset that she was with someone else. Jadzia knew you for three years before she even met Worf, and then it was two more years before she got married. You thought she'd always be there whenever you wanted. If my memory serves, she dropped a dozen hints over the years about wanting to get serious and you dismissed her every time. If you really loved her, she could have been yours."
Boday took a drink from his glass. He had convinced himself of his unrequited love and wasn't going to let go of it so easily.
"On her wedding day, you told her not to marry Worf. She asked you why."
He thought for a moment, then let out a defeated sigh, "I didn't say, 'Because I'm in love with you.' I didn't say anything, really."
Ezri nodded, "That's right."
"Would it have made a difference?" he asked, his voice tinged with regret.
Ezri lowered her eyes and smiled to herself, "No, it wouldn't have. She loved Worf... completely. I don't know if I can explain it in a way that will make sense," she chuckled, "It didn't even make sense to Jadzia. But they were so intensely devoted to one another, it was amazing."
Boday watched the young woman's face change as she re-lived what were obviously strong emotions, "What's that like for you?"
"Having these memories can be overwhelming. Sitting here talking about it like this, it's hard not to feel the way I did the last time he and Jadzia saw each other."
"Does Worf know any of this?"
"It's complicated. Very complicated. He and I can barely be in the same room. And even if that wasn't the case, it's forbidden for a Trill to continue relationships from previous lives."
"You've been friends with Sisko for three lifetimes now."
"Friendships are okay. Like I said, it's complicated."
"So that means you and I can keep being friends?"
"We can be friends," Erzi began hesitantly, "But I'm just a simple girl and you and Jadzia's arrangement is way more than I can handle."
He smirked, "So then I shouldn't dust off my chess board?"
Ezri laughed, "No, you should not," she paused, and then returned his coy smirk, "But maybe we can come up with something of our own..."
February 3, 2020
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