"Sometimes, I Hate Her"

"Sometimes, I Hate Her"

DS9 V, A 1st person POV

Shipper code: J/E UST

Summary: An unintended Joining and a return to her predecessor's home gives Ezri Tigan Dax a lot to think about.

Disclaimer #1: All characters in this situation are Viacom's.

Disclaimer #2: This is an experiment. I am flying blind with this character, cobbling together what I have seen of her from fanfic, websites, and about half of "Field of Fire" If I am getting her wrong, PLEASE let me know!

Archive elsewhere? Sure - let me know where

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Sometimes, I hate Jadzia.

It's irrational, especially since I've never met her. I know her well enough. Some of it from piecing together stories from Ben, Julian, Nerys, and Worf...I know her as much from the stories they tell of her as much as I do from the memories I'm carrying in my minds.

I'm the counselor. I'm supposed to help others as they fall apart. I'm not supposed to collapse - not in the job description. It's unprofessional and unbecoming of a Joined.

Winds, I AM unbecoming of a Joined. My existence is an abomination, even if the Board isn't going to hunt me down and rip Dax out like they did with Joran.

I'll never know for certain, though.  I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night thinking they've finally dispensed with civility. I'm alive only because I would be condemned worse for letting Dax die, and that all Federation governments have, to use a human metaphor, "bigger fish to fry."

I'm projecting my frustrations at being Joined onto her, I guess. She's dead and therefore beyond being hurt. No, she isn't. I just carry the pain for her. So, I'm also mad at myself.

Ugh, I'm a candidate for my own couch. Not surprising. Ever since I said "yes," nothing has made sense. One day, I knew who I was - Ensign Ezri Tigan, mining colony brat, Assistant Counselor of the USS Destiny, Starfleet officer, and Initiate-School dropout. I was looking forward to proving myself on my own terms.

Then, I get the call right after I sent the last patient of the day home. I walk into sickbay to see Captain Munoz and Dr. Sol standing there, grave concern etched on their faces. They sealed the door behind me and told me what was wrong. The "ill passenger" we picked up at DS9 was a Symbiont. The way the past Host was murdered, they said, had left damage that had gone undetected until now.  It needed a Host - I was the only one who could. And by the time they got to the Trill Homeworld, it would be permanent.

I said yes. I wonder if it was the right choice - for both of us. I'm not what a Host is supposed to be. I can barely remember my name on a bad day. Was it fair to Dax to be Joined to someone so unable to handle it?

Too late to ask those kinds of questions.

The next few months are a blur. All I can remember is feeling lost and alone, even on a large starship surrounded by people that Ezri Tigan knew. Dr. Sol didn't see any signs of rejection - so I was given an indefinite leave of absence and told I could return once I passed a psychiatric exam. 

The next thing I remember clearly was staggering into the restaurant Ben's family owns on Earth. Thank the Joined Gods - he took it better than anyone (including me at that point). Sick as it sounds, he might almost be used to this. After asking a few cursory questions, we were on a runabout back to DS9. Along the way, he filled in so many gaps and helped me sort out the knots. I saw the station and felt almost...relieved.

The station is a Cardassian ruin, even more scarred by attacks from the Dominion, but it is home - Dax's home. Dealing with the shattered minds of the people coming back from the front lines gives me something to do, now that I'm back from medical leave and was cleared for duty. As dangerous as it for me to be here - Reassociation laws and all that, I can't imagine wanting to be anywhere else.

If Jadzia Shorel Dax and Ezri Tigan served on the same station, we wouldn't have much to talk about. Jadzia was such an aristocrat, born and bred of the Homeworld and all of its customs. She carried herself just like a Joined was supposed to - with just the right mix of nobility and arrogance. She had her struggles, but followed a strict code of both Joining Oaths and the Klingon honor that she learned in Curzon's life and married the next.

I wear my status like clothing too big for me. The strictures of the Homeworld's social rules don't really apply in the dusty and barren mining colonies where there may only be a half-dozen Joined in a large settlement, and many more types of aliens. As for Joining Oaths and Klingon honor - I don't believe in the blacks and whites. The mind of any sentient species is made up in many shades of gray.

I would have resented her arrogance. I can remember her talking down to others. Without intending it, she had a very haughty and very cruel streak. She wasn't aware of it, of course.

I am.

She very likely would have tried the same thing with me. I would have been beneath her in rank. Also, seeing as we're countrymen and the Unjoined are always supposed to defer...Jadzia would not have intended it, but Ezri would have been on the receiving end of some of the nastier things she could deal out.

And these people I now surround myself with look at me and see her. I've been told I have the same eyes. I see the unnerved looks on their faces when they see me with my hands behind my back, a gesture that's become very comforting.  They are grieving still. Worf is the most open about it, downright hostile at times. Ben bites his tongue, but has respectfully not called me by the nickname. Bless him again.

When I try to soothe their grief, I only seem to make it worse - for them and for me. The best example I can think of is having dinner with Sarina tonight.

When I met Julian Bashir (again?) at the Replimat, we started talking. As weird as it was to see him, I remembered thinking that he was very handsome, and charming - a lot more so that Jadzia's perceptions allowed for.

We did talk about her.

I remember her thinking that it was just a silly crush, and that he grew out of it.

The instant I mentioned that she had just started warming up to him by the time Worf came aboard, I figured out two things.

One, it wasn't a crush.

Two, he never had to imagine her cruel streak. He knew it firsthand.

I took his hand and tried to stammer out an apology, but the damage was already done. Much of the time, I get tongue-tied coming near. Even more insane is that fact that, the more my memories settle into place, the more attractive I'm finding him. A fellow healer who's also dealing with enhancements he's never asked for and that make him an abomination on his own homeworld. OK, I'll admit it. Ezri Dax has a crush on him - a crush he likely doesn't know about or doesn't care about.

Chains reversed, I guess. When he tells me how well Sarina's doing, I got a taste of what it was like for him to see my predecessor and Worf stumble into the infirmary with telling injuries. He's very happy with her, and it isn't my place to say anything.

It's starting to become more than a crush, I'm afraid. I'm now walking in his shoes and understanding what he once felt for a woman I hold the memories of. Maybe the mixed feelings I have now are a payback for all the years she...I...didn't notice.

Did I mention that sometimes, I hate Jadzia?

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