Excerpt from

"Fascination"

Odo sighed. Lwaxana was gone- for the moment. He was alone again, the way things should be. His mind drifted to her odd fascination of him. Surely, he wasn't that interesting. He sat behind his desk, simply content to be alone until he had to go to Commander Sisko's party.

That's when he heard his doors slide open. Oh no. It's her, he thought. He sighed again, he had had his two moments of peace. He realized that was all he was getting. He looked up and to his surprise, Lwaxana didn't darken his doorstep. He held in a smile as he viewed Major Kira Nerys as she walked into his office.

"Major. What can I do for you?" he asked her. He suddenly noticed that Kira wore a peculiar expression on her face. She was smiling and her dark brown eyes were lit up in excitement. He squinted his eyes to be sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him. No, she was indeed smiling at him. Odo was slightly confused. Kira wasn't the one to walk around with a smile plastered on her face. Yes, it was the gratitude festival, but still. She smiled when given a reason to. When given a reason to, Odo's mind echoed. He suddenly placed that smile. It was not the amused or caring one. It was the one that she gave Vedek Bariel when she saw him. It was that infatuated smile. However this smile was at a larger degree than usual. Uh-oh.

"Odo," she answered in an uncharacteristic smooth tone. "You don't have to do anything." She walked closer to him, her eyes never straying from him.

"Kira, are you feeling all right?" he asked in a concerned tone. She smiled even wider.

"I'm better than 'all right'. I'm here with you, Odo. How could I not be?" Odo was beginning to panic at this remark. Kira moved closer to him, the smile never leaving her face. She suddenly draped her arms around his neck. He instinctually moved back but he was cornered in his chair. She looked into his eyes. A strange sensation ran through Odo. As much as he wanted it to be true, it wasn't real. She was obviously not well.

"Kira, come with me. Let's go see Doctor Bashir."

"No, I want to stay here with you."

"Kira..." he warned, his voice taking on a slightly menacing tone. Kira didn't seem to notice it. She promptly sat on his lap and put her head on his shoulder. She closed her eyes and let out a content sigh. In an attempt to have her head examined, he suggested,

"Let's go to Commander Sisko's party."

"Oh, I don't know. I'm fine right here."

"Come on," he said thinking fast. "It will be...fun."

"Oh, okay. If you really want to go."

"Yes, I do. Come on, let's go." Kira reluctantly stood up and continued to peer at Odo with that look. Odo walked out of his office, Kira instantly grabbing his hand and following him out.

The walk to the wardroom seemed eternal to Odo. Fortunately, they didn't run into Lwaxana or anyone else that he wanted to avoid. Kira's hand was in his and she constantly leaned on his arm as they walked. She was so happy that she was on the brink of slap-happy. They finally made it to the wardroom to find an odd sight. Dax was hanging on Sisko and she wore the same look that Kira did. Bariel was chasing Dax while Jake and the chief sat miserably by a window. Something is definitely wrong here, Odo's mind concluded. Sisko, seemingly the only other sane one, looked over at Odo and Kira as they entered, even more confused then he already was. He linked eyes with Odo, who in turn gave him a shrug. Odo walked over to Sisko, Kira in tow, to speak with him.

"Constable," Sisko said once they were in ear shot.

"Commander, do you have any idea what's going on?"

"Not the slightest." The wardroom door opened and Bashir walked in. He looked around, noticing Kira hanging on Odo and Jadzia on Sisko, with a confusion that the three men shared. He, too, joined Odo, Kira, and Sisko. "Do you know what's going on?" Sisko asked the doctor. Bashir shook his head and answered,

"We could take one of them to the Infirmary so I could run some scans." Sisko nodded his reply. "Just follow me, Constable. I doubt it will be hard to convince Kira to come with you." Bashir walked out of the wardroom, Odo and Kira following not far behind.

"Where are we going?" Kira asked in an airy tone. She had obviously been too busy cooing over Odo to pay attention to the men's conversation. In order to keep Kira cooperating, Odo answered,

"It's a surprise."

"Oh! I just love surprises. You just think up the most interesting things," she commented bubbily. As before, she kept close to Odo and wouldn't let him go. Odo's emotions were haywire and he didn't know what to think. He pushed all emotions away for the moment so he wouldn't do anything he would later regret. There was something apparently wrong with Kira and he had to take that into consideration. When they arrived at the Infirmary, Bashir asked her to get up on the biobed.

"Do I have to?" she asked.

"Kira, Doctor Bashir just wants to run a few tests. I want to make sure you're okay." She sat on the bed and replied,

"But I already told you I'm fine. It is nice of you to worry about me, though." As she spoke to Odo, Bashir scanned her. He went to his computer panel and began running various tests on her. She began to get up but Odo easily kept her on the biobed with one hand. Kira gave up her fussing and quietly sat on the biobed, her arms crossed defiantly across her chest. The computer gave a short beep, confirming its work was done. Bashir looked over the results, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"I don't understand," he concluded. Odo suddenly became worried.

"What? What is it?"

"All the scans show that Major Kira is in perfect health."

"Which is obviously wrong. Are you sure you didn't miss anything?" Bashir nodded.

"Quite sure." Odo was puzzled. There has to be something wrong. I know it!

They returned to Commander Sisko's party in the wardroom. The situation had grown stranger yet. The good Vedek was lying on the floor and Keiko was worrying over him. This is just too weird, Odo's mind concluded. I have to get to the bottom of this.

That's when he saw Lwaxana coming toward him from the other side of the room. Kira moved in front of Odo as if to protect him from the approaching Lwaxana. On her way over, Lwaxana stopped and put her hand to her head, obviously suffering from a sudden headache. At that same moment, Quark began cooing over Keiko. Odo and Commander Sisko linked eyes. They had found the crux of their problem.

After Doctor Bashir had uncovered Lwaxana's disease, Sisko confined everyone affected to quarters. Odo was relieved, to say the least. Somehow, one part of him was sad. He had enjoyed, despite his own good judgement, her attention. He also knew that that wasn't real. It was a perverse tease.

Something that Doctor Bashir had said stuck in his mind. He had mentioned that those with latent attractions had fallen for someone when affected. So somehow, Kira did have an attraction toward him. It may only be subconscious but it was there.

He wondered if he would ever tell her about his fascination with her.