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After her visit with Shakkar, Major Kira was commandeered by the Vedek Assembly, and she was not happy about it. Shakaar's secretary had forwarded Kira's statistical data to their office, and they wanted a personal explanation for what they'd read. So did the Counsel of Ministers. And General Sato. Kira's return to DS9 ended up being delayed for two more days.

Holed up with a bunch of politicians and militia types had left her too tired to do any more thinking about Odo, at least not until she'd found herself on the return transport, heading back to DS9. Her conversation with Shakaar had given her plenty to consider, now that she had a little time to do so, and Kira formed a plan for dealing with it on the way back to the station.

She had made mistakes with Shakaar by not being honest with herself, he was right about that much, and she wasn't going to repeat them with Odo. She was going to take matters into her own hands this time, enough waiting for wishy-washy Changelings to make up their minds. She was going to ask Odo to dinner. Tonight. He could watch her chew her meal as they both chewed over their relationship. They would get things out in the open and get this over with, one way or another, the way Kira liked to do things. Enough of this cloak and dagger, cat and mouse game they were playing. She wanted this Odo problem dealt with. Today.

As a riled-up Kira disembarked from the transport, it seemed like fated timing that Odo was crossing the Promenade at that same moment. Her heart lept at the sight of him, bubbling away her irritation in an instant. How many people in this universe could actually do that, could turn her mood so quickly, just by their physical presence? 

The thought steadied her resolve about asking him to dinner. Kira ran up to him, beaming, expecting Odo to return at least some of her sentiment, but was quickly disappointed.

The Constable was distracted, distant. He seemed almost embarrassed to see her, as if he couldn't wait to get away from her. Kira didn't really understand the emotion that hooded his gaze, or what she could have done to cause it. Odo eyes wouldn't meet hers as he stammered a greeting. Guilt, Kira realized, finding the word she wanted. The Constable actually seemed guilty about something. What in the world had Odo been up to while she was gone?

Obviously, Kira decided, whatever it was, it didn't have anything to do with her. Odo's discomfort, though, was growing, so Kira let him go about his business and didn't press for an explanation, but dropped her plan to ask him to dinner. As Odo moved across the Promenade, making his way away from Kira as fast as he could, she couldn't help a last look at his swiftly retreating form.

A conflicted, confounding, and complicated man was her Constable.



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