"So Far Away" by Karen
How is it possible that he can be surrounded by people and still feel so incredibly lonely is something that Jake Sisko is still trying to figure out, and it's got nothing to do with the fact that he best friend has been off away to Starfleet Academy for months now. He misses Nog, and he could have filled the void with any number of accquaintances on the station if he had wanted to; but it would be just that filling in when the ache will return, stronger than before.
For all of his eighteen years, no matter what happened, his father had always been there for him.
He knows that the others can tell that is unhappy and in pain, and he has probably heard all of the various comforting platitudes that he needs time to grieve, and in the peace and soltidue of the quarters that he shared with his father, Jake had done that, curled up on his bed and shedding buckets of tears.
His father had a lifelong career in Starfleet, with it coming both responsilbity to protecting the lives of others and with the knowledge that at any moment it could all been taken away. Jake understood that implicitly, and it was something he had firmly believed he had come to accept over the years, even when his mother had died so horribly in the Borg attack at the battle of Wolf 359.
If he had lost his father too, in battle, or to some other tragic but conventional manner, maybe it would be easier to bear, but his father had inexlpictly vanished into the great glowing spatal anaomly that Jake and anyone else on the station could view daily outside of the sation's windows.
Jake still was not completely certain if he was a firm believe in his dad's role as Emissary to the Prophets of the Celestial Temple as the Bajorans believed, but he believed in his father.
If anyone could find a way to bring the various quarreling factions aboard the station on the planet Bajor below, Benjamin Sisko was that person.
Now Benjamin Sisko is gone and Jake felt more than a bit torn between anger, pain, and disappointment. The only problem is Jake was not entirely certain if his anger was directed more at his father for leaving him or at himself for feeling the way that he does, or at the circumstances.
His father's friends saw the pain he was in, hell even Quark, not know for being the most caring of individuals all went out of their way to look out for him, to try and ease his pain, but Jake did not want pity.
Kira Nerys believed in the Prophets and in Sisko as bother her commanding officer and her Emissary, once a very diffcult reconcilation to make, but after almost seven years of living and working with the man,; she had definitely come around.
She was not blind she saw Jake's pain and while she was not entirely certain if the young man would welcome the intrustion, she felt she had to do something. Kira was not the type to dwell on matters too much, so suiting thought to action she left Ops at the end of the fourth watch and went Jake's quarters in the habitat ring.
"Enter," Jake muttered in an undertone sounding as if he had just woken up from a deep sleep.
"Jake, it's Kira, I'd like to have a word with you."
"Sure." I mean, I guess so."
Kira sat down on the edge of the boy awkwardly searching for something to do with her hands, finally stuffing them into the pockets of her uniform slacks.
"Jake, I know you're in pain, and I realize why." She paused and thought through her next choice of words before adding. "I want to help."
"No one can help me!" Jake shouted uncurling and hunched over he was still so much taller than her. Kira knew both from her knowledge of the young man and instinctively that his anger was not directed at her and continued.
"Yeah, so, if that's the case are you going to wander around this place like some kind of automaton, recoling every time someone gets close enough to spit at you?" If so, I can order a thirty yard restraining order for everyone aboard." Kira said with a wry twist to her lips removing her hands from her pockets and reaching out to place them on Jake's shaking shoulders.
"No, damn it! I just don't know anymore!" Jake sobbed, and underneath her hands Kira could feel most but not all of the tension drain out of him.
"It's okay to cry, Jake, it's okay to grieve." Kira whispered softly. "If you had any idea of how many friends I lost during the Occupation..."
"It's not that." Jake interrupted. "If he had died in battle, that I could understand, but disappearing into thin Air, to be with the wormhole aliens..."
"You mean to be with the Prophets," Kira said firmly not hestiant to correct him on this matter.
"Whatever." Jake shrugged and she wisely decided to let it go for now.
Kira nodded. "Your heart is telling you one thing and your head is telling you another. Believe me, I've been there."
"Why didn't I figure that out before now!" Jake muttered as he turned his head away from her and stared at the patterns in the room's bulkheards without seeming to see them at all.
Kira closed her eyes and waite before adding: "I know you don't believe in the Prophets the way the Bajoran's do, Jake, and your father's role as the Emissary has never been something you've been completely comfortable with, but I know, in my heart, that when the time is right, Benjamin Sisko will return to us."
Jake started almost slipping out of her grasp and rolling off of the bed before he said: "Kira..."
"Yes, Jake," she prompted.
"For this, for everything," Jake choked and then reached up one long arm to wipe away the drying tears on his face. "I think I needed this like I needed another hole in the head."
"Dax, Odo, O'Brien, Bashir, even Ezri, they all tried to comfort me, to make me see that I was acting like a complete jerk," Jake sighed and then rolled off the bed and stood up.
Kira stood up as well and gave him a tight smile. "Well, if this talk has done some good, then you're quite welcome and it certainly saves a lot of time and effort about issuing that restraining order."
Offering her a shaky smile of his own Jake laughed at that, "Just like you to put everything into perspective."
"Yeah, Are you going to be okay?" she asked.
"I think so," he replied. Noting the arched eyebrow and the stern look in her eyes he squared his shoulders and replied in as firm a voice as he could muster. "Yes, I will be okay."
"Good, if you will excuse me, I need to get some reports done. Bye, Jake."
"Bye, Kira. and thank you."
Kira nodded as she turned around and crossed the distance to the door in a few strides, tossing back over her shoulder. "If you need me, you know where to find me."