This is a BtVS / Star Trek: DS9 crossover, and sequel to my earlier story Omphalos. You really need to read that first, if you don't this story won't make much sense and will spoil your enjoyment of Omphalos. All characters belong to their respective creators, and this story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis.
by Marcus L. Rowland
Things were quiet in Vic's Lounge that Christmas Eve. Vic was singing his way through a medly of seasonal songs, but most of the customers seemed to have taken the evening off.
Julian Bashir was thinking about heading home when the girl walked in. A tall brunette, beautiful, in her early twenties, there was something about her... her clothes, of course. Jeans and a midriff-revealing tank top, they were about fifty years anachronistic for the setting. She couldn't be part of the scenario. Julian had a vague idea that he'd seen her before, but couldn't quite remember where, so he raised his glass and hoped that she'd remind him.
"Hi," said the girl, sitting at the bar. Julian took a closer look, noticing a small silver stud piercing her navel, and faint traces of scars on her arms and midriff. Definitely real, the general run of holodeck characters were flawless. Probably from a low-tech colony world, any Federation planet would have had the medical facilities to heal her without a mark. The barman came over and took her order, a white wine. She pulled out a five dollar bill and paid him, and seemed surprised by the amount of change she was given.
"New in town?" asked Julian.
"I've been through before," said the woman, in what Julian took to be a credible imitation of a period accent, "a few months before the war ended. In fact we've met. Dawn Summers."
The name rang a bell, though Julian couldn't quite remember the circumstances. "I'm sorry, but..."
"I think you were kinda preoccupied when we met," said Dawn. "You had a ward full of Klingons to treat."
"I remember. Quark's bar. You bought ice-cream for Dax and me, and a prune juice for Worf."
"That's right," said Dawn, smiling. "How are they anyhow?"
"Taking a second honeymoon on Earth with the baby."
"And Captain Sisko?"
"I didn't realise you knew her. She's still off with the Prophets."
"Umm... she is?" Dawn sounded a little surprised, for some reason. "Well, I guess um... she'll come back when she's ready."
"So... what line of work are you in?" asked Julian.
"I'm a student. Ancient languages, mythology, that kinda thing."
"Mostly, though that can take in more territory than you might think."
"There's more than one version of history."
"You're with Temporal Investigations?" Somehow Julian doubted it, but it never hurt to check.
"I hope you're not going to tell me you're a time traveller, from... oh..." he looked at her clothing again, "the early twenty-first century."
"Bingo. Twenty-oh-seven if you must know, and four or five dimensions across from this one."
"Right...." he said sarcastically.
"That's cool, you don't need to believe me."
"I've heard stranger things," said Julian, deciding to humour her. "So what brings you to Deep Space Nine?"
"Actually," said Dawn, "you do."
"Me?" Julian blushed slightly. "I'm flattered, but..."
"Huh," Dawn said dismissively, "You should be so lucky."
Julian laughed and said "Okay, so I'm not the man of your dreams. What then?"
"I'm playing Cupid."
"To quote someone, 'Do I have a girl for you.'"
"Yeah. You guys should have been together, but I kinda messed things up."
"I don't understand."
"Okay... let's say hypothetically that I'm really a time traveller, and I really did something that changed your past, the past of this entire universe."
She seemed more serious, somehow, and Julian felt a tingle of unease. "Hypothetically. Okay."
"Now ignoring the time line that this one replaced, most of the people I knew in this universe came out of it okay, apart from some weird crap like Sisko being a woman instead of a man, and some did a lot better. Jadzia is alive, for one thing."
"What?" This time it was so loud that some of the customers looked up.
"You're repeating yourself. Long story and it never happened this time. Short version, she was dead, so was the baby, Worf was alone, and when the war ended you were getting it on with Dax's new host."
"And you changed things so that it never happened?"
"Yeah, it kinda slipped by when I was fixing something else. Jadzia lived, Ezri didn't get Dax, and you two never met. And we got on pretty well, I was kinda sorry to see you both short-changed. But never mind, you're gonna like her even without Dax on board."
"What were you fixing?"
"Trust me, you really don't want to know."
"And now you're going to introduce me to some woman I've never met," he said sarcastically, "tell us we should have been lovers, and leave us to get on with it."
"More or less." She sounded utterly certain. "Getting her to Deep Space Nine wasn't too hard, but getting her into this holodeck on cue was a bitch to arrange. Still, she ought to be coming in here in a couple of minutes. Don't worry, after that it'll all be okay."
"You're out of your mind."
"Nope. Okay, I'm gonna have to split." She finished her drink and walked out. Julian thought about calling Security as he watched her to the door. As she went out a Trill woman in an evening dress came in. Outside Dawn murmured "Tabula Rasa" and put a small crystal into her pocket.
"Are you all right?" Julian looked at the attractive Trill woman who had just taken the seat next to him, trying to work out why he had been staring at the door when she came in.
"Am I...? Sorry, yes, I think so. Just a little tired, I think, it's been a long day. Oh, I'm Julian Bashir."
"Ezri Tigan." For some reason the name sounded familiar, though for the life of him Julian couldn't remember why.
"Pleased to meet you. Can I get you a drink?"
"Thanks. What would you recommend?"
"Unless you're used to twentieth-century drinks I'd suggest something simple, like a glass of red wine."
"That sounds good to me." The barman came over and took the order, removing an empty glass from the counter. Julian vaguely wondered why he didn't remember anyone leaving it. Must have been day-dreaming.
"So what brings you to Deep Space Nine?"
"Work. I'm the new station Counsellor." So she was going to be staying aboard, and they'd be working together. He'd probably see her every day. Interesting...
"Right, I heard someone new was coming in. I'm Chief Medical Officer. Welcome aboard."
"Thanks." She took a sip of her wine and smiled. "That's good."
"Vic keeps a good cellar, so to speak. I'll introduce you when he finishes his act."
"Introduce me to a hologram?"
"He isn't an ordinary hologram. Cheers. Oh, and merry Christmas"
"Cheers. And... what's the right phrase? A happy something?"
"New Year," said Julian. "You know, I have a feeling that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship."
"We've only just met."
"Sorry, I have a bad habit of quoting old movies."
"What's a movie?"
"Well you see, back in the nineteenth century...."
Outside Dawn smiled, concentrated, became a shimmering vortex of green energy, and disappeared towards the wormhole and home.