Summary: Post-episode for the DS9 fifth-season episode "Blaze of Glory"; mentions events from S4's "For The Cause." A small connection in Kasidy Yates's history, written originally as backstory for a roleplay. (Rebecca Sullivan is Michael Eddington's wife in "Blaze of Glory.")

Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine belongs to Paramount Pictures. No infringement of copyright is intended by this fanfiction, which is simply an expression of admiration for DS9 and an attempt to imagine what went on behind the scenes in characters' lives. Done for fun and not for profit!

White Picket Fence

Stardate 50827.6

Habitat Ring, Deep Space Nine

Bajor Sector

"Hello, Yates. It's been a while, hasn't it?" Rebecca Sullivan looks up from her meal as Kasidy Yates is ushered in. They've put the Maquis refugees in private quarters here on the station instead of in the brig, but there are guards outside the door and computer access is limited. House arrest is still arrest.

"Yes, it has." Kasidy nods to the Bajoran deputy, who returns to duty outside with his Starfleet counterpart. They're not taking any chances here, she sees, even if Ben is sympathetic to what Sullivan's just been through. "How have you been? Benjamin told me about Michael. I'm sorry."

Rebecca looks away. "I just hope they're sorry enough not to treat us like criminals now that we don't have anything left to fight for." There's a pause. She gestures towards her food. "At least they feed you here. Replicated's better than nothing, I can tell you that."

Kasidy raises an eyebrow. "I need to know something, Sullivan."

"What?"

She takes breath. "Whose idea was it last year? To use me as bait? Yours, Eddington's, whose?"

Rebecca tilts her chin–Rebecca Sullivan doesn't admit vulnerability. "Mine."

"Why? Did you just decide you couldn't trust me any more? 'She's sleeping with Starfleet, she's a liability?'" Kasidy can't keep a slight edge out of her voice.

"You were just the best person for the job."

"Oh. So it's nothing personal, just business, then. For the cause, that makes everything all right?"

"People were going to die, Kasidy, if we didn't get those replicators. Cardassians were going to get them, profit off someone else's technology and use it to kill us, just like they always do. And Starfleet was going to help them do it. We had to do something."

"What did that have to do with me? I'd have moved the equipment for you, you know that."

"We couldn't get the stuff off the station if Sisko and Odo were breathing down Michael's neck. You might have been sleeping with the captain, but there's only so much even you could slip past under their noses. And we needed Michael–things were going on by that point that we couldn't do without him. It was time for him to come out from under cover."

Kasidy sighs. "So you figured I was the best distraction. Tell Ben his girlfriend was smuggling for the Maquis..."

"...and he'd be worried enough not to pay attention to anything else. Yes. And it worked, you have to admit."

"I just don't like being played for a fool." She wants to say "betrayed," but she's not that melodramatic. Even if it is ironic that the Maquis, who began the fight out of idealistic loyalty to their friends, sometimes screw over those same friends for something as simple as logistics.

Rebecca frowns. "If it's worth anything to you, I'm sorry. I am. I don't like using my friends. But sometimes we had to do what we had to do."

Kasidy knows that, but it doesn't make it better, really. Still, she feels sorry for Rebecca. The woman's lost her husband and her cause all in one fell stroke. Her own six months in a Federation penal colony seem minor by comparison. "And now that the Maquis are dead, what are you going to do?"

Rebecca looks down, fiddles with her glass. "I...we...I don't know. We've been fighting so long. They're probably going to make us settle down like good little Federation citizens somewhere. How in the hell am I supposed to do that?"

Kasidy says nothing. What is there to say? The Maquis have just lost a war, and no one will even give them the dignity of admitting they were at war.

"And now that Michael's gone...I don't think there will be a new Maquis. He was the last of the true leaders. Everyone else is dead." A pause. "Goddamned Dominion. We almost had the Cardassians beat, you know that? Then the Jemmies showed up."

"I'm sorry," Kasidy says. She's lost friends too, but she was never involved with the actual fighting, and hasn't been close with anyone Maquis since her release from prison. Too dangerous for them; Starfleet watches ex-cons.

Silence hovers between them for several long moments. Finally–

"Yates?"

"Yeah?"

"Would you...do you think...would you keep in contact, wherever it is they send us? I know I'm not your favourite person right now, but..." Rebecca looks almost pleading. "I could...let you know how we're doing. Complain about the white picket fence or the rehab centre food, that sort of thing."

Kasidy smiles and agrees. She can do that, at least.

In the corridor on the way back to her ship, she thinks that maybe Sullivan did her a favour. After all, she's alive. Most of her crewmen are alive. She's got a job, and she's back on the right side of the law.

If only everyone were so lucky.