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Drinking half a bottle of aged seev-ale had been stupid. But effective. Kira had slept like a baby, though she did end up in the infirmary after all, seeking one of Julian's famous hangover hypos.

Dax had met her at the infirmary, took one look at her, and laughed.

“Rough night?” Jadzia chortled.

Kira winced. “That's an understatement.”

“You gonna tell me about it?”

"Nope. But did you know, Jadzia, that the station's chief of security is a wonderful dancer?"

Dax gave Kira a knowing smile, but said nothing, and helped her off the biobed. They left the infirmary, and started their morning trek to Ops.

As she walked along the Promenade with Jadzia, Kira thought over the events of the last few days. How did she frame it all into words for Dax, when she couldn't really explain it all to herself? Last night, through the haze of alcohol, she'd had thoughts of setting fire to the holosuite she was so angry, but in the light of day, through the painful lethargy of her pounding head, truth had struck. Vic had done her a favor. A really big one.

Even though their date had ended terribly, even though she knew Odo was hurt and embarrassed, and even though she couldn't think of a worse way to start a love affair, Kira realized one key thing. If it hadn't been for Vic and his meddling, her eyes may have never been opened. She may never have seen what Shakaar had known all along, and had been trying to tell her. She might never had felt that moment of clarity as Odo had swept her off her feet and around the dance floor. Kira may never have realized that all this time, she had been looking at her relationship with Odo from the wrong side.

What had she ever done to give Odo hope? What had she done to encourage him, to let him know it was okay to ask her on a date, to smile at her, to touch her, to let him know those were exactly the things she wanted from him? No wonder he'd turned to a hologram for help. The history of their relationship had laid out like a long and twisting road, and she had seen every wrong she had ever done her Changeling.

She was the one who'd shut him out, who'd rejected his feelings for her and left him full of doubt, forcing him to hide such a gift like it was a sin. She was the one who'd turned down the offer of a lifetime, to be loved by such a unique being, who loved her without reservation, and asked for nothing in return but the chance to show it. Who was her friend and her confidant and her protector. Who'd been there all along, a shield at her back, a hand when she needed it, and a heart that emptied itself, over and over, to keep hers full. A man who understood her better than anyone ever had, but loved her anyway.  

She should never have let him leave that holosuite without her. Odo wasn't the problem. He was the solution.

“Dax, have you ever had a moment of clarity? Where the truth just seems to leap up and grab you?”

“Maybe one or two, in seven lifetimes.”

“That's all? One or two moments of clarity, in seven lifetimes?”

As she and Dax stood on the busy Promenade, debating clarity, fate again dropped Odo in her path. There he was, stepping gracefully out of security and streaming seamlessly into the throng of people on the square. Looking at him over Dax's shoulder, it was all so clear.

It wasn't Odo that had kept them apart. It wasn't him that was uncertain. He knew what he wanted, had known for a long time. It was her that was the coward. It had always been her. She had run from her own feelings, not his, and all those judgments and rules and objections and excuses she'd wielded to shut out the best thing in her life faded away. None of them mattered, and they never had.

There he is, Nerys. Everything you ever wanted. And he wants you, too. 

“Kira, are you having another moment of clarity?”

“That's two in two days,” Kira smiled. She turned from Dax, and ran to catch up with Odo.

“Odo, wait...”

 



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