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Odo punched his access code into the panel, and the door to his quarters slid open. “Make yourself comfortable, Major. I'll be quick,” he said and headed off in the direction of the bedroom.

Kira smiled as she watched him go. Likely, she was the only person in the universe who would receive such an open invitation from her intensely private friend. Sliding her hands in her pockets, she took Odo up on his offer. She made a casual stroll about the room, admiring the things displayed in his quarters. Odo had taste in art that belied the hard-hearted, dour facade he presented the rest of the station, and it was something Kira had always admired. She was one of the few who had been allowed to peruse his little museum though she hadn't been here for some time. The large central sculpture was gone, and she noted, replaced by standard-issue furniture, but there was much of his collection still on display. There was, however, one key piece Kira was missing.

Kira had a favorite among Odo'a collection, a rare and valuable item Odo had acquired during a bust of a smuggler's ship. It was a plant of all things, something Kira knew she should stay far away from if it was to be spared her black thumb. This plant, though, was different, cultivated as an object d'art by the people of Devrie. At first appearance, the plant looked to be a sculpture carved from white stone, cold to the touch, it's ivy-like leaves elegant and sepulchral. Odo had explained to her that it was indeed alive, requiring regular light and water, and when properly cared for, could live for around two hundred years. Since Devrie was two sectors away, and there was little traffic between the planet and the station, the authorities of Devrie had gifted the plant to its rescuer.

Kira was still scanning for her plant, hoping he hadn't gotten rid of it, when Odo emerged from the bedroom. "Ready?" he asked. Her head swiveled at the sound of his voice, and the plant was quickly forgotten.

Odo had changed into black pants, a black shirt, and was shrugging into a jacket as he walked into the living space. Kira centered her attention on her friend, contemplating how different he looked out of uniform. His long legs looked even longer in black, and the cut of his jacket enhanced his lean frame. Garak's tailoring there, she was sure. His shoulders looked stronger, more defined, and as always, his eyes had a unique appeal all their own. The black set the blue of Odo's eyes off far better than the earth color of his uniform. It was all definitely different than what Kira was used to. She was trying to put her finger on what she liked so much when she heard a slight cough.

"Major?" Odo asked, concern knitting his brow. "Are you alright?"

"Yes," Kira replied. Her mouth was hanging open. She snapped it shut. "Sorry, I...I Just spaced out for a moment."

Odo looked down at himself doubtfully. "Is it the way I'm dressed? Did I get it wrong?"

"Oh, no, Odo," she said, "not at all. You look..." And then the word Kira wanted hit her like a punch. Her friend the ex-Changeling was sexy in this black suit.

Odo's expression grew nervous as he waited for her to finish her sentence. She couldn't find a word to replace “sexy,” a word that was appropriate between colleagues, a word that wouldn't send her sensitive friend running in fear from his own quarters. The more she looked at Odo, searching for inspiration, the worse it got, her body growing uncomfortably heated as her brain locked on that dangerous adjective, and repeated it.

"You look great!" Kira squeaked.

"Really?"

"Yes," she assured him, hoping the relief she felt wasn't showing on her face. Kira rushed for the door, the need to get out of Odo's quarters and get her feelings on a more level plane spurring her to action. "Let's eat! I'm so hungry I think I could eat half a tarkherg by myself."

"Well, Major," Odo quipped, "if we're going to a Terran restaurant, I doubt tarkherg is on the menu. But after you."

 

 

 



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