Jadzia loved being in new places and meeting new people; going on adventures and seeing the sights.
But even this was a bit much.
One minute, she had been in sickbay, dying because Dukat had shot her (shot her? No, not quite shot...) in the Bajoran temple. She remembered that Julian had thankfully been able to save Dax, and this cheered her, but then she remembered...
She'd been on a biobed in sickbay, dying, dying because of Dukat, and she'd been trying to say goodbye to Worf. Her husband. The man she'd wanted to be the father of her children. Our baby would have been so beautiful she'd told him. She'd wanted to say more. That she loved him. That her love for him was fierce and deep and passionate and pure. But she'd had no energy for any of that, and she tried to push those feelings and thoughts into his mind. She could see his eyes, full of sorrow and grief and hopelessness even if they couldn't shed tears. And suddenly her whole body relaxed, and her mind went blank, and she couldn't see Worf anymore. Or sickbay.
Then, she could see. She saw Worf howling over her body, and Benjamin (Benjamin!) standing by her bedside, and felt his sorrow. But she was leaving them, headed somewhere else. Headed on the next adventure...
Jadzia loved adventures. But this was the oddest adventure she'd ever been on. Around her were a handful of Klingons - she was the only non-Klingon aboard. Aboard what?
Oh. She was on a boat. Not a starship but a boat. A boat? A boat with a few scraggly Klingons...
"Wait." She said, out loud. Her head finally seemed to clear, and she was beginning to think straight. She looked at the Klingon closest to her. "Are...are we headed to Gre'thor?!" Gre'thor was where Klingons who did not die in a glorious battle were doomed to spend all eternity. Jadzia had married into the House of Martok, became Klingon by marriage...and had died because a Pah-wraith had infested the body of a Cardassian despot...she had not fought back. She was not killed by another Klingon. She died as collateral damage.
The other Klingon just stared at her blankly, but Jadzia knew. This was the Barge of the Dead to Gre'thor. Oh no. No no no. Worf... she could hear the siren-like voices of the Kos'Karii calling and buried her head in her hands.
*Worf eyed O'Brien suspiciously. The Irishman stood in the doorway to Worf's quarters, an absurd smile on his face, and holding a bottle of bloodwine.
"Can I come in?" O'Brien asked, almost cheerfully. Worf continued to eye him suspiciously. "Why?" he growled.
O'Brien held up the bottle. "Well because it's been a long time since we shared one of these," he said as he edged his way into Worf's quarters. Worf stood there wordlessly and resigned himself to the Chief's intrusion on his solitude, finally accepting the company, at least long enough for each of the men to share a swallow of the blood wine. Worf unsuccessfully tried to get O'Brien out of his quarters, eager to return to his solitude.
"Hold on, Worf! I came to talk!"
Worf sighed. "About what?" He demanded.
"Anything you want!" the Chief cheerily replied. "Old friends, the Enterprise..."
Finally, at the end of the long conversation - and the end of a third bottle of bloodwine - O'Brien discovered the answer to the question that had driven him to Worf's quarters in the first place. Worf's long period of mourning (long for Klingons, anyway), and his repeated destruction of Vic's in the holosuite...being even more dulseltory than normal...Worf was upset because he did not believe Jadzia was in Sto'vo'kor. "She never ate the heart of an enemy," Worf had explained to O'Brien. "And she did not die in glorious battle." And with that the conversation had died down, and Miles could see that Worf's grief had returned in full force, and as Worf once again shut down, Miles excused himself, thanking Worf for their time together, and crept back to his quarters to get just an hour or two of sleep.
In the morning, O'Brien had blearily relayed the information he had gleaned to Bashir and Quark, and together with General Martok they devised a plan to help Worf and Jadzia. Martok agreed to a dangerous mission in Jadzia's name, as any honorable Klingon would. They headed off to the Chin'toka system, to blow up the Dominion shipyard...
Jadzia had arrived in Gre'thor, but she had no idea how long she'd been there. She received looks of pity from some, and she even swore she recognized one or two Klingons, but if she had known them or Curzon, she could not be sure. Time seemed to slow, then speed up; she would be walking along a river of slime, and then she would be in a dead forest. At one point, she'd even found herself in a shuttlecraft as her host Torias, right before he died. And then for another moment, she was Emony. And then...
She blinked. She went from a desolate landscape of dishonored Klingons to the middle of a glorious battle. She looked down and found a bat'leth in her hands, and some...aliens attacking them. All around her, Klingons battled these...creatures...and she automatically found herself launching into the fray. She knocked out one with the backside of her weapon and gauged the point into the chest of another. She struck down two more, and whirled around looking for more attackers. She saw many of their bodies, and Klingon bodies strewn about...but the Klingon bodies soon got up! They clasped arms, laughing. Somewhere on the edge of the battlefield, she heard a group of Klingons launch into song.
What the hell? She finally thought. She looked down at the bat'leth in her hands, wondering, and said out loud, "What is going on?"
"Don't you know?" a melodious, resonant voice said from behind her. Jadzia spun around to see a tall, beautiful Klingon woman, who was looking at her somewhat imperiously, and somewhat amused. But there was something human-like about her features, and her brow ridges were all too delicate...she's half human, Jadzia realized. But...
"K'Ehleyr?" Jadzia gasped. The tall Klingon woman smiled brightly. The sights and sounds of the battle around them seemed to drift into the background, and everything that was not K'Ehleyr and Jadzia became muted. Jadzia gazed up at K'Ehleyr in wonder.
"But...is this...?" She couldn't quite muster up the words, but K'Ehleyr nodded.
"Oh, but it is. Jadzia, Daughter of the House of Martok, welcome to Sto-Vo-Kor!"
Jadzia gasped again, a smile spreading over her face. "Sto-Vo-Kor?" she said breathlessly. "But...I...I was in Gre'thor! On the Barge of the Dead! Dukat killed me, I..." she stopped, remembering all of her lessons on ancient Klingon lore. "But...that means..." and she looked into K'Ehleyr's eyes, which were bright with recognition and approval at Jadzia's realization.
"He..." Jadiza broke off again, overwhelmed with emotion.
"Yes!" K'Ehleyr said, grinning at the Trill.
"Worf. Worf fought a battle for me in my name, didn't he? And he won?"
K'Ehleyr inclined her head. "He did indeed. Blew up the Dominion shipyards in the Chin'toka system. And he had help." At Jadzia's wondering look, K'Ehleyr clarified. "Dr. Bashir, Chief O'Brien, and Quark joined Worf and Martok for the mission." The Klingon woman gestured, and a stone bench appeared. "Come, Jadzia, sit with me."
The two women sat and looked at one another. Jadzia was overwhelmed with love for Worf, and a deeper appreciation for her friends. She smiled as she imagined Julian, Miles, and Quark - Quark! - joining Worf for his mission to get her into Sto-Vo-Kor. Jadzia looked over at the other woman, who seemed calm and at peace here in the afterlife. Jadzia leaned toward her companionably.
"You know, I met Alexander. He's a wonderful young man."
K'Ehleyr sighed and materialized a bottle of bloodwine in her hand. She took a swig and offered it to Jadzia, who took it and did the same. She saw a flash of sadness in K'Ehleyr's eyes as the other woman spoke.
"Yes, he is, thank you. My poor boy...he's had such a hard life for someone so young." She shook her head slightly. "The House of Duras did so much damage on the House of Mogh. Duras' father framed Mogh for Khitomer, and Duras killed me..." she trailed off. Jadzia knew all of this already, of course. Her mouth twitched.
"And Worf killed Duras," Jadzia said, softly, but smiling, imagining Worf, full of rage, avenging the woman he loved and was mated to. She wondered if Worf had killed Dukat, but somehow she knew he hadn't. Dukat had escaped to Empok Nor and joined the Cult of the Pah-Wraiths. Still, he was victorious in a great battle that he had undertaken for her. Now she found herself in Sto-Vo-Kor, talking to her husband's first...well "wife" wasn't quite the correct word, but his mate, the mother of his child. Jadzia felt a pang of grief at that thought; she had hoped to also be a mother of his children, but it couldn't be remedied now.
Jadzia looked back at K'Ehleyr. "He loved you, you know, in his own way," she said to the Klingon woman. K'Ehleyr smiled at her, took another swallow of the bloodwine, and passed the bottle to the Trill. "I know he did," K'Ehleyr said. "But you...Jadzia, you were his par'mach'kai."
Jadzia opened her mouth to protest but K'Ehleyr raised a hand to stop her. "Jadzia, I know what you're going to say. And yes, Worf and I loved each other, but what he had with you was...different. After me, there was Deanna Troi, briefly, but as you know that didn't last very long. And so then...there was you. A Trill woman, with the memories of Curzon Dax, friend of Klingons...someone who knew their culture, and was celebrated among warriors. And you come in such an attractive package; you're intelligent, witty, fun…but for Worf…it was your warrior heart. The way you understand our culture, and arguably even better than he does." K'Ehleyr paused, taking the bloodwine back from Jadzia and having another sip. She sat up a little straighter, looking at the other woman fondly.
"Understand, Jadzia, this isn't a competition. He loved us both. He loved us differently, but he loved us both. And we both loved him, and I think we were lucky to have such a passionate, honorable man to love." She cocked an eyebrow at Jadzia thoughtfully.
Jadzia copied the expression back to K'Ehleyr. "And, I would argue that he was very lucky to have two incredible women to love him." They smiled at one another, stayed that way for a while, getting to know one another, chatting like old friends. After they lulled into a comfortable silence, Jadzia suddenly stood and stretched, and K'Ehleyr did the same, taking another swig of the wine. She passed the bottle to Jadzia, who finished it. Jadzia looked around at her surroundings, having momentarily forgotten that she was in Sto-Vo-Kor in the first place. The stone bench they had been sitting on vanished. The sights and sounds of battle had been muted when the women went to sit down; now the veil was lifting and Jadzia could again hear the heat of battle.
As the air around them once again became clear, and the battle showed itself before them, K'Ehleyr looked over at Jadzia, a bat'leth in her hands and a wolfish grin on her face.
"Shall we?" She asked.
And Jadzia, Daughter of the House of Martok, grinned back, and raised her bat'leth to join the fray.
*Most of this was taken from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Image in the Sand" and "Shadows and Symbols." Star Trek and its characters are not my property.
Author's Note: Had this as head-canon for a while. Inspired by a conversation with a friend who wondered about his mother and stepmother meeting in heaven. Please review if you'd like.