Title: Arrival
Author: Sabine
Series: DS9
Pairing: K/Du
Rating: [R] for some sexual behavior
Summary: Set after "Waltz" but before anything else Dukat-canonic, Dukat
and Kira work out their relationship
Archiving: archive anywhere, just tell me first!

*Kira, Dukat, Klingons, Cardassians, Bajorans and Ferengi belong to
Paramount/Viacom. This story belongs to me.*

Ariana -- this is for you, really, for inspiring me to finally do this.
Thanks. -- ES

"I got no illusions about you.
Guess what - I never did.
When I said, when I said I'll take it
I meant, I meant as is."

- "As Is," Ani DiFranco 1998


08:38 DS9 Standard Time

The Privateer was entering the Qo'nos system and Kira Nerys didn't know
what to do.

01:02 DS9 Standard Time

She awoke not knowing how long he'd been sitting there watching her, nor
how long she'd been here, asleep. But the shape of the bulkhead curving
up and over behind him, creased with a shock of light in blackness, was
unfamiliar, the mattress softer than her own, the comforting lump of the
phaser she kept under her pillow conspicuously absent. His face, on the
other hand, was all-too-familiar; the half of it that was illuminated
looked pensive, even serene, as he watched her sleep. She lay perfectly
still, (though all her instincts told her to get up, do anything, take
control!) and waited, considering her options.

"Well I've slept beside Bajorans before, and I know enough to recognize
the change in your breathing," he said a few moments later. "I hope you
slept comfortably."

Forget about those options. Without pausing to answer she leaped from
the foreign bed and hurled herself at him, wrested his bulky, armored
body from the chair and pinned his arms behind him. He offered little
resistance, only smiled patronizingly as she reached an arm around his
tapering waist to unhook the phaser that hung there, and press its mouth
to the underside of his chin.

"Computer! Lights!" she ordered, and the room shimmered bright,
revealing the alien surroundings. Bed, bedside table, replicator nook.
Tall arched closet meeting a low ceiling. A gilt and green case sat on a
half-moon table by the door and a lifesize bust of a shriveled Ferengi
stood grinning beside it.

"Where am I, Dukat?" she spat, her voice echoing in the gaudy chamber.

Staring towards the ceiling from the pressure of the weapon under his
jaw, he replied smoothly, "The Privateer, by virtue of the hospitality
of Daimon Gestz. You're not a prisoner," he added.

"Last thing I remember is going to sleep aboard DS9," Kira said. "So
unless you've got a better story to sell me, I'd say I most certainly am
a prisoner.

Dukat chuckled. "My dear Major, I understand how this might be so
second-nature as to have escaped your awareness, so let me remind you
that you're the one holding the phaser on me."

Kira thumbed the control from "stun" to "kill," conscious of the pulse
throbbing in Dukat's wrists as she held them, clamped together, behind
his back. "Oh, believe me, Dukat, the thrill of this hasn't escaped me
for one moment. So, you start explaining what's going on, and when I get
bored I'll pull the trigger. How's that?"

Dukat chuckled again, soft and low. Kira seethed.

"You've got a pretty cavalier attitude for someone who's wanted in
twenty systems," she said. "Or don't you know you're a dead man?"

"On the contrary, Major," he cooed, "that's why we're here. I've decided
to turn myself in."

Kira nearly dropped the phaser. "You're giving yourself up to
Starfleet?" she said. "They'll throw you in a penal colony for the rest
of your life!" ~Good,~ she thought. ~It's about time.~ But something
tugged at her psyche, told her that she wasn't quite ready for this
waltz to be over. She stepped on the thought, smashed it flat.

"Who said anything about Starfleet?" Dukat said. "I've decided to hand
myself over to the Klingons, suffer a quick execution and let them sing
songs of the conquer of Dukat the Great and Terrible. The Privateer
should be arriving at Qo'nos early this morning, but I insisted we stop
at Terok Nor first and pick you up. Oh, and have no fear; I've already
paid for your return passage in full."

Now Kira did lower the phaser, sat down heavily on the chair, her eyes
never wavering from Dukat. He perched on the arm of the chair and rested
a palm on her shoulder. The warmth of his touch made her tremble more
than she would admit and she shook his hand free.

"Why did you bring me with you?" she asked, struggling to grasp hold of
the anger which was rapidly dissolving. The question came out like a

Dukat spoke slowly, as if Kira were a small child. "If I came aboard
Terok Nor, Sisko and the others would arraign me on sight. So I arranged
for Gestz to perform an undetected transport, and I brought you to me."

"But *why*?" Kira didn't allow herself to explore the possibilities for
her role as escort-to-the-execution, steeled herself and waited for
Dukat's reply.

"To say goodbye, of course!" he furrowed his brow, feigning puzzlement.

"To me," Kira said flatly. "Why?"~Kill him, Nerys. This is Gul Dukat.
Kill him now, or you'll never forgive yourself.~

Dukat's eyes went wide; he stared at Kira in fury. "You were practically
the mother of my child! We've shared everything! Major!" he flung his
head into his hands, his onyx hair hanging disheveled around his
silhouette. "She's dead," he said. "I know that now. My Ziyal is dead,
Cardassia is dead, the Dominion is dead. By my former allies on
Cardassia I am considered an embarrassment -- the man who lost Terok Nor
two times too many. To the Bajorans, I am a living representative of
evil; to the Federation and the Klingons I am Public Enemy Number One.
But to you, Nerys, maybe...we are two halves of a whole, you and I. You
complete me. And I complete you."

Kira tightened her hands into fists. "Oh, shut up, Dukat! Yes, Ziyal is
dead, and I miss her too. But spare me your serenades to the
relationship you and I never had. You're nothing to me, just a reminder
of all that's wrong in the galaxy. You say the Bajorans regard you as
the embodiment of evil? Don't flatter yourself. You're a nuisance,
Dukat, and I'll be the first to celebrate your death." ~Then kill him,
Nerys!~ she ordered herself. But the phaser lay in her lap and she
blinked down at it as if it had somehow failed her. As if her own will
had. And Dukat noticed her glance, noticed that she couldn't seem to
bring herself to turn the weapon on him. And the fact that he noticed
made it all the worse.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks," Dukat said with a smile, and
their eyes met. She turned away, humiliated. "What would you be without
me? Just a washed-up imitation of a soldier with nothing to remind you
of your heroic past as you rot aboard that station, bartering your
passion away in favor of insipid Federation morals. Tell me, honestly,
that I don't owe you the honor of bidding you farewell" -- his choice of
phrasing startled Kira -- "and I'll believe you."

Kira allowed herself to look at him, allowed her eyes to trace the
profile of his chin in his palm. She knew that face, its pockmarks and
hollows, the taut creases of ashy skin over cartilage; she could picture
it with her eyes shut. She tried to call to mind Sisko's face, Dax's,
even Odo's, but they blurred together, brown skin, Trill spots, no
eyebrows. But Dukat's image was burned into Kira's retinas, even more
familiar then her own. She remembered seeing it on transmission screens
at home in Singha when she was young, then later in intelligence reports
intercepted by the Shakaar. Gul Dukat. The face was the same, always,
now it matched the solemn expression on the man sitting beside her. She
was ashamed to recall all the times she'd imagined that face, usually at
the business end of a phaser she'd trained upon it. She was even more
ashamed to recall the times she'd imagined that face smiling, talking
with Ziyal, looking like a father, a real person beyond all the rumors
and stereotype. And, sometimes, sometimes, deep in dream territory where
she could no longer control her imagination, Kira would see Dukat
smiling at *her,* a gesture, a touch, a moment of shared laughter and
the war would dissolve around them; a truce, a kiss.

But Kira fingered the phaser again, tried to get her fingers to curl
around the grip and couldn't. ~He can't be right. This is the man who
swore to Sisko that he would kill every last Bajoran. Kill him! Kill him
right now!~ The freedom fighter inside her cried out to be heard, but
Dukat's face wouldn't depart from her mind's eye and it was too
familiar, the determination in his mien too similar to the expression
she saw when she looked in the mirror. She took a deep breath.

"You're awfully quiet," Dukat said, before she could speak. "Could it be
that there's some part of you that understands why you're here? Could it
be that some part of you admits that we need each other?"

Kira leaped to her feet, stared tht familiar face down. "Say your
goodbye, Dukat, and take me back to the station before I deprive the
Klingons of the *honor* of killing you."

Standing, staring, Kira realized that she was still in her pajamas; only
a thin silk camisole separated her nipples from the open air. She tucked
her toes into the cuffs of her silken pants and crossed her arms over
her chest, blushing. Inexplicably, she felt her nipples stiffen and a
swell of tingling fire rushed to her groin. ~Kill him, Nerys...~ the
voice ordered her, and she stood stock still.

"If you want to turn back, we can turn back," Dukat said.

"And you'll be out of my life forever." Kira immediately wanted to
retract the words upon uttering them. She had meant for them to sound
cool and triumphant, but instead they came out tinged with regret. Dukat

"Are we quite done with this battle of wits, Major?" he queried.
"Because I've barely said two words, and you're *still* losing."

Kira hmpf-ed, but said nothing. Dukat bent over, picked up the phaser
from where Kira had dropped it, turned it over in his palm. Kira

"You told Sisko you wanted to kill every last Bajoran," she muttered.
"Is that why I'm here? Do you plan to start with me?"

Dukat shook his head and crossed the room to the replicator enclave. He
slid the phaser into the receptacle and pushed some buttons. In a
shimmering haze, the weapon vanished, to be replaced by a bottle of
Bajoran grain whiskey and two small tumblers. He held the bottle up to
Kira questioningly.

"Oh, I get it," she hissed. "This is all some elaborate sick seduction.
Please don't go to any trouble; it won't get you anywhere."

"Whatever you say, Major," Dukat shrugged, and popped one of the glasses
back into the replicator. In its place appeared a bundle of wooly fabric
which he tossed to Kira.

Startled, and almost touched, she pulled the sweater over her arms and
held it closed across her breasts.

"You looked cold," Dukat said simply, sitting down and pouring himself
two fingers of the strong alcohol.

"Thanks," Kira managed, sitting on the bed and facing Dukat again. He
took a sip and made a face. The chair was close enough to the bed for
her to smell the whiskey, and she laughed. "That replicated stuff is
like vole poison," she said. "You should try authentic whiskey from
northern Musulla."

"And when, precisely, should I try this," Dukat asked with a wry smile.
Kira blushed.

"Sorry," she said. There was a silence, and Dukat downed what was left
in his glass and poured another. "So what happened to you out there?"
she asked finally.

"Well," he began, settling back into his chair, "I spent several weeks
in the Oneona system on one of their lunar colonies, but word reached me
that they were petitioning for entry into the Federation, so I slipped
away before the Embassy ship arrived. I figured Ferenginar was a safe
choice; I could still access several of my private accounts on
Cardassia, and with enough latinum I knew I could keep people quiet. But
spending the rest of my life playing dom-jott grew less and less
appealing the longer I waited, and I realized that there was simply
nowhere for me to go. I have no allies, no family that will claim me,
and no friends to speak of. Immortalizing myself in a Klingon battle
hymn seemed like the only alternative. So I sold my ship, cashed in my
accounts and booked passage aboard the Privateer."

"You must have some friends left on Cardassia," Kira scrutinized him.
"Your wife, your children..."

"...changed their name when they heard what had happened on Terok Nor.
No, Major -" Dukat held his hands out innocently, palms up, "I'm afraid
you're all I've got."

"I don't get it," Kira said. "Why me? If you intended to murder all of
my people..."

"I was furious, Major," Dukat sighed. "You must understand, I am not a
violent man. But they want to kill me, they hate me, they don't see that
all I've ever wanted was peace between our people. Instead, every
Bajoran I met would spit on me at the sound of my name."

"You never wanted peace!" Kira said. "You wanted us all dead."

"Only as a last resort," Dukat said. "You hated me. You despised me. As
long as you were thus closedminded, there could never be peace. The
total elimination of all who opposed me seemed like the only way to put
the hatred behind us."

Kira's face grew hard. "Tell Gestz to turn this ship around," she said,
scanning the room for a comm panel. "I refuse to spend another minute
here alone with you."

"I said 'seemed like the only way,'" Dukat said, defensively. "I was
wrong. You've waited your whole life to hear me say those words; here it
is: I-WAS-WRONG. Destroying everone who doesn't like me would be," Dukat
laughed, "an insurmountable task. So I realized that the only way to end
the hatred would be to turn myself in. Honestly, Major - what do I have
to live for?"

Kira felt a chill and she pulled the sweater closer around her. ~Go
ahead; say it. Say, "Dukat, you're right. You're an awful, awful man and
you'd be better off dead." But if you're going to say it, girl, you'd
better really believe it. Because what if he's right? What the Prophets
put him in this world as a lesson for you, to teach you the way, to help
you learn how to fight, and survive? Because you're no stranger to
killing, yourself, and maybe some of what he's said rings too true.
Maybe you're more similar than you'd like to admit, Nerys...~ "You
can't blame yourself for everything," she said, finally. "That's
megalomaniacal, for one thing, and it's simply not true. There's good in
you, Dukat, much as I hate to admit it." He smiled at this. "You were a
good father to Ziyal, and, from what she's told me, you were good to her
mother, too. So don't do *us* any favors by killing yourself," she
concluded sharply. She stole a glance out the window at the stars
hurtling by at warp speed, and then looked at Dukay solemnly. "This is
wrong," she said. "Somewhere along the line, something went terribly
wrong. It's not about..." she chewed her words carefully, "Cardassia or
Bajor, or the Dominion or the Federation, or, it's not supposed to be.
Sisko, Weyoun, they're not seeing what's really at stake here, and
that's how this whole thing came about, and why you feel like you have
to turn yourself in. But what this is really about, this whole war, is
people like you and me."

"Perenially opposed, always championing the opposite sides," Dukat
agreed. "So it will be, long after we're gone. But somehow, I can still
look at you and see a complex, intriguing woman, passionate, determined,
devoted. But you look back at me with decades of hate in your eyes. How
can I make you understand that I am not a hateful man?"

"I don't know," Kira said. "I don't know. But I do know that it's those
decades of hate that are feeding the Dominion -- if Bajor and Cardassia
could put the past behind us, men like Weyoun wouldn't have fuel for
their fire. I'm only just beginning to understand this now." ~Thanks to

"Perhaps," Dukat's speech was beginning to slur; he poured himself
another drink. "You and I could take those first steps."

Kira scowled. "Oh, please don't turn this into one of your conquests!"
she shook her head.

"Conquest?" Dukat feigned innocence, his eyes glinting. Kira couldn't
resist returning the grin. "Hardly. I was merely trying to express to
you that I am willing to see beyond our past, and accept you as more
than simply a Cardassian-hating terrorist. And on this, the eve of my
execution, I was hoping you might be so kind as to offer me the same

~"The eve of my execution,"~ Kira mulled. ~He's really going to go
through with this. No wonder he seems so calm.~ A wave of something
like terror hit her and she decided not to think about it. ~No more
Dukat.~ It was true; that familiar face was different tonight, his eyes
clearer, the madness that had stained his demeanor all but gone. He
looked like a man, brave and terrified, innocent and alone. Resigned.
Kira pulled her hands into her sleeves and shivered, staring at him.

"You're cold," he said. "I've set the environmental controls to
Cardassian specs; it should seem sweltering to a Bajoran. Are you all
right, Major?"

She nodded, not prepared to speak.

"No," he said, his eyes widening with something akin to concern. "You're
not. Here." He rose, sat on the bed beside her and offered her the
tumbler of whiskey. She sipped it gratefully, feeling the fire of its
bitterness race through her bloodstream. Dukat was inches from her,
close enough for her to hear his breathing, feel the heat rising from
his skin. He smiled at her, showing all his teeth, and somehow that
smile didn't seem quite so hateful as it once had. ~No more Dukat.~
She thought again. Tears sprung to her eyes and she hated them, cursed
them silently. ~Kill him, Nerys?~ she tried to call up the hate but it
was futile, now. The Klingons would take care of that for her. Dukat was
no longer her responsibility. She took another sip of the whiskey,
enjoying the vile burn. Dukat was no longer hers. She realized with a
shock that she had always thought of him that way, as her own personal
challenge, her nemesis, the outlet for her rage against the years of the
Occupaton. Without that outlet...~You can say it, Nerys,~ a different
voice, a new voice reared itself in her mind. ~He'll be dead by
tomorrow and you'll never have this opportunity again.~

She placed a hand on Dukat's knee and he made no effort to conceal his
puzzlement at the uncharacteristic action. "You're right," she said.
"Damn it, Dukat, I hate to admit it, even now, but you're right. I
suppose I have thought of you as a...part of me," she choked a little on
the words, "and hating you for what you did during the Occupation was
comforting, somehow."

"Major," Dukat said, laying a hand over hers and squeezing her fingers,
"are you implying that you'll miss me?"

"Hardly!" she snapped, then bit her lip, trying not to think of the
warmth of his calloused touch sending shivered down her spine. "Maybe,"
she said. "A little."

Dukat looked at her. "Thank you, Major," he said. "In my horrible life
that is blissfully coming to an end, you have been a source of light.
Because of who you were for Ziyal, and because of who you were...for me.
Please, Kira, allow me to die as your friend." He took the glass from
her cupped hand and set it on the floor, his eyes searching her face.

~Any other night I would have said no, no, no, never.~ "Okay," she
whispered, terrified. "Okay."

Dukat threw his head back and laughed, making Kira almost regret her
words. "Major, if you only knew how good it is for me to hear you say
that!" he declared.

She slid her hand from under his and held it in the air for a moment,
finally raising it to his face. She traced the contours of his neck with
nervous fingers, allowed them to explore the elliptical ridges around
his eyes. ~So familiar, yet so foreign, this face.~ She imagined that
she could hear his heart pounding against his armored chest and she
fought the urge to pull back, stop, look away. But his eyes were steeped
with desire, and need, and sorrow, and she wanted to know him, to
finally understand him and make peace. He ran a finger up inside the
sleeve of her sweater, stroked the soft crook of her arm. She throbbed,
her heart racing, her mind clouded with images of him, his powerful
frame, that sharp jaw, those wideset shoulders...

He inched closer to her, slipped the sweater from her slender shoulders
and pulled her face to his. She closed her eyes and allowed him to find
her mouth, taste her tongue. Sighing, she ran her hands through his hair
and cradled the warm shape of his skull, let him envelop her in his
strong embrace as he eased her gently onto her back.

For a moment he loomed over her and she shuddered with the fear of too
many Occupation memories, but his touch was gentle, his kisses careful
and delicate.

She felt for the buckles of his breastplate and unfastened them, freed
him from the clunky armor and let the piece clatter to the floor. She
could see the shadows of the flat ridges of chest bone throug his dark
undershirt and she buried her face in his clavicle, drinking in his
scent. He let out a soft moan and kissed her again, sending what was
left of her conscious mind into delicious abandon.


Her entire body folded into his embrace, she clutched his arms across
her chest and did not cry. His breath on her shoulder was warm, his arms
sinewy and lean where she dug her fingernails into his flesh, unwilling
to let go. Her groin ached from him, her heart ached because of him. She
burrowed her nose into the crook of his elbow and tasted the salt-sweat,
whiskey, and the unmistakeable tang of lovemaking. He began speaking
softly, thanking her, telling her again and again that he loved her,
that he always had, that he owed her more than she would ever know. She
lay in the Ferengi bed and disappeared into the warmth of him. She
refused to listen to his words and she did not cry.

The voice over the comm shocked them both, and Dukat instinctively
tightened his arms around Kira's narrow frame.

"This is Daimon Gestz to Gul Dukat. Please report to the bridge."

Dukat lay still for a long moment before replying, "acknowledged."
Kissing Kira on the shoulder but refusing to meet her eye he stood and
began dressing.

08:38 DS9 Standard Time

The Privateer was entering the Qo'nos system and Kira Nerys didn't know
what to do.

Kira stood beside Dukat at the transporter pad on the bridge. He stepped
up to the platform and nodded toward Gestz.

"Wait!" Kira said. "Dukat, I..."

He shushed her, stepped down and took her hand. "No," he said. He pushed
up the sleeve of the woolen sweater and kissed the inside of her arm.
Then he bit her, hard. "So you'll remember," he said.

Taking a step back, she met Dukat's gaze and let loose a slap across his
face. The red mark of a handprint rose to the surface and his eyes
widened as he stared back at Kira. Then he turned, took his place on the
transporter pad, nodded to Gestz again, and vanished.

Kira turned to Gestz. "Take me home, please," she whispered. Fingering
the bruise on her arm, she noticed the arc of Dukat's teethmarks printed
into the purpling flesh, and she knew it would hurt for a long, long

The End.