Disclaimer: not my characters.

A/N: I absolutely loved Chimera. So angsty and powerful. A lot of character development. I just wish there had been more, especially of that last scene. I've thought up a dozen different versions over the past few days, but this is the one that made it unto the paper. I hope you enjoy it.

The Strongest Link

Odo in his natural form was... magnificent. More beautiful than Kira could have imagined. Looking at the rays of pure life that were her lover, Kira felt a deep, sure love fill her. As the light – Odo - came closer the feeling grew, until her whole being was filled with it. Only then did she realised it wasn't her own love she was feeling, it was Odo's. Her love was fierce and passionate, often sudden and all at once. His, like Odo himself, was steady and sure, though no less powerful. A love that had been building for years. Feeling what he felt for her, so strong and enduring, gave Kira a sense of peace she'd never known before. Of course she'd know he'd loved her for years, but actually feeling it was different, more potent. Her earlier fears of losing him melted away as she finally knew exactly how much he cared for her. It was a wondrous, secure feeling and she laughed with pure joy, basking in it. Slowly, she felt the feeling withdrawing as Odo once again coalesced in front of her and became the good, solid man she knew. Only now did she really begin to understand how limited that form was for him, how much it hid. How much he gave up by talking, when he could simply share his feelings.

He stood before her, palms against hers, in the same pose he'd held before he'd… melted? Became light? She didn't quite know how to describe it. He was looking at her with an expression she'd never seen on him before. An expression filled with peace. He looked much as she imagined she looked herself.

'Odo, that was beautiful. You are beautiful,' she gushed, her voice almost reverent. Odo's expression deepened, became a smile. 'I could feel you. Not your body, but you. Your love. Is that what the link is like?'

Odo shrugged. 'That's part of it. The link is a complete melding, not just of feelings but of thoughts as well. A melding of being.'

Kira nodded slowly, her joy fading a little at the thought that as wondrous as this experience was to her, it was still only a part of what Odo was missing. What he'd given up to stay on Deep Space Nine. 'I understand why it's so tempting to you. I wish I could share it with you.'

But Odo was already shaking his head, grasping her hands firmly between her own. 'No, Nerys, I'm not missing anything, not when I'm with you. I only realise this now, but I don't need the link to know you. I've always known who you are. I don't have to be in your head to know what you're feeling, you're so expressive. And you share your thoughts with me every day. Not because of some link, where you are compelled to share everything, but because you choose to do so. Your trust, your willingness to share everything about yourself with me, and let me share everything I am too, is far more precious to me. You are all I need.'

Nerys sniffled, Odo's words touching her deeply. 'I love you Odo,' she finally responded. It was simple, but it was all the response she had.

'And I love you,' Odo said. It wasn't the first time they'd exchanged those words, but now they really knew how much they both meant it. Kira's love was written in her actions, in her willingness to let him go and her acceptance of what he truly was. Odo's was etched in every fibre of his being.