Disclaimer: I do not, nor have I ever, nor will I ever, own Star Trek. I only write in the Star Trek universe out of love and respect for this magnificent series of series. No infringement intended.

The Talk of the Station

1342 hours:

The activity level in Quark's was suddenly and mysteriously slowing down. It took Leeta a moment to realize that customers were turning their attention to something outside the bar. Curiosity overcoming her, she pushed her way to the door to see what they were looking at.

She could hardly believe her eyes. Out there, in the middle of the Promenade, Nerys and Odo were kissing.

"About time," Quark said from behind her. "He's had a thing for her for years. Get back to work."

Leeta reluctantly turned away, a childish grin forcing itself onto her face.


1411 hours:

Dr. Bashir looked up from treating the Ekosian Poison Daisy rash on Keiko's arm to see Jadzia stroll into the Infirmary wearing a smirk that practically screamed "I know something you don't."

"Can I help you, Jadzia?" he asked.

She sat down and bit her lip, still smiling.

"You're going to make me guess, aren't you."

"I might be tempted to give you a hint," she teased. "It involves Kira."

Bashir smiled back. "And Shakaar?"

With a triumphant gleam in her eye, Jadzia answered, "Nope!"

Keiko dropped the pretense of disinterest. "Nerys and someone else?"

Jadzia nodded conspiratorially. "And you'll never guess who."

Keiko and Bashir exchanged glances. "Someone we know?" Bashir inquired.

"Well it wouldn't be very much fun to make you guess if you didn't," Jadzia said.

Both Bashir and Keiko wrinkled their brows in expressions of puzzlement so similar that Jadzia almost laughed aloud. Then Keiko's face melted into a smile. "It couldn't be," she said in a tone that implied she most definitely thought it was.

"Who?" Bashir looked over at her.

Keiko gestured for Jadzia to come closer, then whispered something in her ear too quietly for Bashir to hear. Jadzia nodded in confirmation, and Keiko squeaked out a delighted laugh.

Bashir looked at them both in exasperation. "Oh, now you have to tell me."

"Well, think about it," Keiko said. "Who does Nerys associate with who's unattached and she doesn't dislike?"

Bashir thought about it. "Is it someone on the station?"

Both women nodded.

He was about to guess Jake when he remembered something odd Jadzia had said the other day. His eyes widened in shock. "Ohhhh…Odo?"

"That's right," Jadzia declared. "He just kissed her on the Promenade. I guarantee you everyone will be talking about it by tomorrow morning." She stood up, winked, and whispered. "But you didn't hear it from me." Then she left.

As soon as Keiko's rash was completely healed, she sprang up from the bed and rushed out the door. Since obviously she would tell Miles, Bashir found himself floundering to think of someone else he could pass this bit of news along to. The possibilities would be dwindling fast.


1459 hours:

"To what do I owe this unexpected visit?" Garak asked pleasantly without looking up from his work sewing a dress.

"Have you heard?" Dr. Bashir asked breathlessly.

"Have I heard what, my good Doctor?"

"Oh, come now, Garak," he said in a parody of impatience, "do you really expect me to believe that anything happens on this station without you knowing about it? I just came to you to find out if it's true."

Garak continued to pretend he had no idea what the doctor was talking about, though he had by now guessed. "I'm afraid that this time you'll have to enlighten me."

"About Kira and Odo," he lowered his voice, even though they were the only ones in the shop. "I heard that they're not just friends anymore."

"Doctor Bashir, I'm surprised and disappointed that you would put such stock in the station gossip. Why, I wouldn't believe it myself if I didn't see some evidence for it with my own eyes."

"Wait…You 'wouldn't' believe it 'if' you hadn't seen…Are you saying you did?"

Garak nodded. "I just so happened to glance out my window once or twice during the ten minutes they spent displaying their affection for each other in the middle of the Promenade."

"I…see." He wasn't sure how much of that imagery he wanted to allow into his head. "To be honest, I almost didn't believe it. I had no idea they had those kinds of feelings for each other."

"Then you haven't been looking closely enough," the tailor chided. "Though I have my doubts about the Major's prior disposition, this development actually explains a great deal of the Constable's conduct over the past few years."

"Does it?" Bashir asked curiously.

"Consider if you will, my good Doctor, that in all the time we've known Odo, he's had two romantic relationships, neither of which lasted long, both of which coincidentally took place while the Major was involved in serious romantic relationships with other men. Now, that may not mean much on its own, but it does tell us that the Constable was in fact interested in romantic relationships with women, much as he so frequently and vehemently claimed the contrary—indeed, one might suggest he doth protest too much, as your Shakespeare would say. And are we honestly to believe that he spent all those years with such a lovely woman as the Major for his closest friend, and didn't not only not desire a, shall we say, slightly less platonic relationship with her, but in fact failed to even contemplate such a possibility?"

"Garak, I'm not sure if you're making any sense either logically or grammatically."

"But you do see my point?"

Bashir thought about it. "Not only do I see your point, I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. But if that's true, isn't it somewhat puzzling that Odo didn't pursue a romantic relationship years ago?"

"That we can plainly attribute to the good Constable's fundamental shyness. Indeed," he added, "he may at first have considered his friendship with Kira the closest thing to romance he could ever hope for."

"All I know for sure," Bashir said as he walked out of the shop, "is that the Constable is a very lucky man."

"That he is," Garak agreed for Bashir's sake, though he knew that was, at best, a gross oversimplification. At worst, it was the biggest lie he ever told.


1720 hours:

"Have you heard the news?" Jadzia asked Worf as he entered their quarters.

"If you're referring to the news about the recent development in the relations between the Constable and the Major, then no, I have not heard every single person I passed on my way here talking about it."

Anyone but his wife would have thought Worf's sarcasm meant he was in a bad mood; Jadzia knew that he was struggling to keep a straight face. Though a little disappointed at not being able to tell him first, Jadzia still had a juicy card up her sleeve. "Ah, but were any of those people actually talking to Kira right before the incident occurred?"

"The personal relationships of my coworkers are no concern of mine," Worf replied forcefully.

"Whatever you say." Jadzia turned away and pretended to busy herself with something, but when she didn't hear Worf move, she smiled slyly. She had him.


1809 hours:

Keiko was setting the table for dinner when Miles walked into their quarters. He looked tired, as usual. They exchanged pleasantries over how each other's day had been, then Keiko looked down at the table, trying to look innocent. "So, have you heard the latest station gossip?"

Her husband gave her an incredulous look. "You just got back to the station this morning; I probably know more of the latest gossip than you do."

"This is something that happened today."

"That good, huh?"

Keiko nodded. "According to my sources, Nerys and Odo are now a couple."

Miles scoffed. "Yeah? Says who?"

"Well, first I heard it from Jadzia, but other people have been talking about it."

"Well what about Shakaar?" Miles asked skeptically.

Keiko shrugged. "You'll have to ask Nerys. But, personally, I think Nerys and Odo make a better couple."

Miles shook his head slightly. "Huh."


2030 hours:

Captain Sisko sat at his table, staring at the two plates of spicy grilled catfish.

The door beeped.

"Come."

Jake practically ran to the dinner table, looking excited.

"You're late," his father noted.

"I had to stop by Quark's and the Security Office."

"Why did you have to stop by Quark's and the Security Office?" Sisko asked somewhere between suspiciously and conversationally.

"I wanted to find out if the rumor's true."

"What rumor?"

Jake stared at his dad, eyebrows raised. "You mean you haven't heard?"

"Haven't heard what?"

"About the station's newest couple. Nog told me that Rom told him that Leeta told him that she saw them kissing outside Quark's bar, so I went there to ask Quark if it was true. Quark said he'd known about it for years, but of course he wouldn't admit it if he didn't. He also said that something happened between them in the holosuite the other night, that they both stormed out…but I was, like, 'Those two in the holosuite? Come on!' So I decided to go to Security to see if Odo was there, but instead I found Woidil—you know, Arkra Woidil? The one who claims he's Odo's most trusted deputy?"

"Yes, I'm familiar with Deputy Arkra, but…"

"Well, he said that he wasn't surprised at all, and that he's suspected he had a crush on her for years. So we asked the computer to locate him, and you'll never guess where he was…"

"I probably could if I had any idea who you were talking about."

Jake stopped as he realized he'd left that part out. "Odo! And want to know where the computer says he is right now?"

Sisko's forehead wrinkled in either confusion or amusement. "Where?"

"Kira's quarters! Is that something or what?"

A smile played across the captain's lips. "Kira and Odo? That is something. I guess that explains why Odo was singing the other day."

"Odo was singing?"

"Jake…" Sisko frowned seriously at his son. "Both Odo and Kira value their privacy. I don't want you spreading this around, or prying into their personal lives."

"I'm not!"

Sisko gave him a "Yeah right" look.

Jake sighed. "Look, everyone's talking about this; I just want to get the facts straight. And from what I've been hearing, they're not exactly being discreet about it."

"Still…"

"Dad, it's not like I'm writing a Deep Space Nine gossip column." He thought for a second. "…yet."

"Jake," Sisko warned.

"I'm joking!"

Jake finished dinner and went home. As Captain Sisko cleared away the dishes, he contemplated the news. He was happy for his first officer and chief of security—thrilled, in fact. And he was sure that they of all people wouldn't let their personal relationship interfere with their professional duties. He decided to give Kasidy a call. It wasn't that he wanted to tell her about Kira and Odo, he just wanted to talk to her. But if the subject of Kira and Odo happened to come up…


0638 hours the next morning:

Morn was ambling in the general direction of Quark's bar, as he did most mornings, (he hadn't been in at all the previous day due to an unexpected call from his mother and a consequent headache) when he passed Kira and Odo outside the Security Office. They seemed to be talking about something, which Morn politely ignored. Then Kira started laughing loudly. A moment later—shockingly—Odo started laughing along with her. Morn halted and curiously looked over in time to see Kira pull Odo's head into a deep kiss. When they broke apart, Odo said something too quietly for Morn to hear. Kira nodded, then Odo disappeared into his office. Kira stood motionless for a moment, leaning slightly in the direction Odo had gone, then she turned around and noticed Morn staring.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

Morn closed his mouth and vigorously shook his head.

"Good." She walked off in the direction of Ops.

Morn blinked slowly. He turned, took a few slow steps, then started running toward Quark's. No one would believe this!