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Story Notes: An unabashedly sprawling and romantic sort of AU story, with dashes of fantasy, written in the romance novel style.


Major Kira Nerys strode the halls of the habitat ring, gliding on feet that felt like they barely touched the ground. It was going to be a good night. She couldn't suppress her wide grin, even if it did make her look like an idiot. She had been looking forward to tonight for days. Duties were behind her, a much-needed night out ahead, and it was going to be even more special because of her chosen companion for the evening. Tonight, Kira had a date with Odo.

As she boarded the turbolift, Kira's smile faded a bit. It had been an age since she'd spent any time with her good friend, and she'd felt guilty about it, but she had been incredibly busy these last few months. She and Odo had barely seen each other outside of duties lately, not like they used to do. With her constant maternity check-ups, the constant Dominion threat, and the constant strain of trying to keep her romance with Edon alive, Kira had been pulled in every direction, having no room to spare for much of anything else.

And Odo was just as busy. He was, after all, the chief of security aboard one the biggest hubs in the quadrant. Busy wasn't even the word for Odo's schedule. Insane was more like it, though Kira had to wonder how much of that was on purpose. The things he'd been through lately made her problems look like insignificant nothings by comparison, and every time she'd checked his booked-solid itinerary, trying to fit herself in somewhere, she'd recognized Odo's need to bury himself in duty. She had understood it, in fact. Channeling their emotions into work was one of the things she and Odo had most in common, and between the two of them, it was amazing they'd managed this night at all.

As the lift stopped at the Promenade, Kira's smile returned. Her destination was in her sights. She bounced off the lift, rushing forward, unreasonably happy over the sight of blast doors. The Major had to laugh at herself as she drew closer to them. During her resistance years, she'd avoided places like the security office avidly. Now, she was practically running toward a police station. Then again, it wasn't the office itself she liked. It was the company.

Kira crossed the threshold and found Odo still working. He was leaning on the edge of his desk and pouring over a data PADD with one of his deputies. Odo lifted his head at her entry, expression set rigidly in security chief mode.

“If you'll have a seat, Major, I'll be with you shortly.”

“Of course,” Kira replied, taking her cue from his tone. She did her best to wipe the smile off her face. “No rush.”

Kira plopped unceremoniously in what she thought of as her chair and contemplated her friend as she watched him work. She admired Odo in so many ways, but it had grown to near hero-worship in these last few months. Though his face, his body, were still the same, under the surface Kira knew the Founders had altered him greatly. She followed the tracery of veins on Odo's hands, at his temples, pulsing with his newly acquired heartbeat. She noticed the slight color on his cheeks, the way he subconsciously rubbed the back of his neck to ease the tension there, one of the most humanoid gestures she'd ever seen him make. His chest moved as he talked with the deputy, rising and falling with the rhythm of his lungs. Before his change, Odo had told her his breathing was only an illusion, another tactic he used to blend better with the solids he was forced to live with. Now, she knew, breathing was as essential to him as it was to any solid. 

The Founders had made Odo Human as a punishment, and it was harsh, but seeing as how Kira was humanoid herself, she could think of worse things that could happen to someone. Still, she couldn't imagine what kind of hell that had been, to wake up to such a different form of existence. Even with everything he'd faced, Odo hadn't missed a step in his duties. Anyone would have understood it if he had, but so far, security still ran like the perfect machine he'd built it to be. Kira had to marvel yet again at the inner strength of her best friend.

Odo and the deputy wrapped it up, and Odo dismissed him. He waited until the deputy was gone before he spoke. “Major, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Kira rolled her eyes. Odo always called her Major, no matter how often she told him not to. Why he couldn't call her by her given name she had no idea, seeing as how he had been her father confessor for the last few years. He knew way too much about her to stick to constant formalities. "No need to apologize, Constable.” She placed the lightest inflection on that last word and was amused by the slight shift of his shoulders that said he'd heard it. He hated that nickname. “Besides, I know how it is."

"Just the same, I do apologize," Odo replied. He started shutting down monitors, closing the security office for the night. "So where are we going?"

Kira rose and followed Odo out of security. "I thought we'd get a bite to eat first. I'm starving. I also wanted to do a little shopping, maybe walk the Promenade. Would that be alright?"

"If you don't mind, Major, I'd like to get away from here. The Promenade's been a madhouse all day. And could we stop by my quarters first? If you're going out of uniform, so will I." He gestured toward the tunic and pants she wore. They were made of purple silk, the cut of the garments easy, airy, but still well tailored. “You look very nice, by the way, Major.”

“Thanks,” she smiled. “Dax got this outfit for me on her last vacation. This is the first time I've been out without the baby bump, and I finally got a chance to wear it.”

Odo's gaze softened as it traveled over her silk-clad form. "Dax chose well. The color suits you."

Kira tucked her chin to her chest, blushing. Odo's gaze made her uncomfortable, but in a warm, fuzzy sort of way. "Actually,” she said, changing the subject, “since you mentioned it, away from the Promenade might be nice. How about we try the Terran restaurant at the Alcove?”

Odo nodded firmly in agreement. “That would be perfect, Major.”

They headed toward the turbolift, and on to Odo's quarters.


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