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After her first date with Odo had ended in total disaster, it was Kira's closet that held the answers this time. In her closet, in the bottom drawer of her dresser, hiding underneath some strappy black underthings she never really wore, was a bright blue bottle of liquid obliteration.

Kira had headed straight for that bottle as soon as she'd left the holosuite. Ironically, it had been her fellow victim of this night's trickery who'd introduced her to Maraltian seev-ale, years ago, and she'd been quite pleased with its instant, anesthetizing effects on her Bajoran physiology. Good stuff, was seev-ale. She'd gotten Quark to get her a bottle of her own, for occasions just like this, when things looked so grim that booze was the only possible way to salvation. The bottle had laid hidden in her closet for some time, but like most fine things, seev-ale aged well.

Kira took a swig straight from the bottle, and a little voice in her head- Julian's, for some reason- warned her it was a bad idea.

Careful, Major. Too much of that, and you'll win a date with me this time. In the infirmary.”

“Shuddup, Julian," Kira mumbled. She stuck her tongue out at no one at all, and made a raspberry, but couldn't really feel it. Her tongue and lips were already numb. Kira made her way across her room and to her bed. She took another swig of seev-ale, and half fell, half sat on the edge of the mattress.

It was going to take Kira months to get Odo to forget this night. Dinner had been an unmitigated, unprecedented, and utterly undeniable disaster. What a mess. And she had that annoying pile of algorithms to thank for it.

A pox on tuxedo-wearing, period-specific, suite-jumping holograms. Swig. And their programmers.

Kira did, she acknowledged as she took another drink, have to give Vic credit for choosing that lovely song. The tune, the words came back to her, and she smiled. She had actually danced. With Odo. She'd loved it. Swig. She could still feel Odo's touch burning its way through the fabric of her dress.

That moment when he'd pulled her close, held her tight, it had all been so clear...

And oh, Prophets, Odo's face when he'd learned the truth. The confusion, the hurt, the shut-down misery of it. Why was she always hurting him?

Now who's predictable, Nerys? 

Kira emptied the bottle. She fell on her bed, and closed her eyes, letting herself float off on a soft blue cloud of numbness. As she slept, she dreamed. And in her dreams, she was not alone. Someone was with her, someone with hands both kind and strong, and eyes as deep and clean as the sea.


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