Dedicated to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, 1932-2008.

* * *

"No one's ever seen me like this."

"Why? It looks fine."

"It looks ordinary. I never cared to be ordinary. So you see, Odo, even we non-shapeshifters have to change who we are once in a while."

"You are not at all what I expected."

"No one's ever paid me a greater compliment."

~Lwaxana Troi and Odo, "The Forsaken," DS9

* * *

Of all the women that could have lost a brooch in Quark's, it just had to be the most forward, obnoxious woman in the Alpha Quadrant. After I located the thief, the Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi showed her gratitude in a rather unwanted manner. She was apparently interested in me because of my cunning in locating the one who had stolen her priceless brooch.

She found everything about me fascinating, from how she could not read my emotions to how I was the only known member of my kind…and she mentioned that she had never "been" with a shapeshifter before. She found me very appealing despite my reaction to her. And Commander Sisko dared suggest that I let her "catch" me.

The mating rituals of humanoids have never made any sense to me. Sacrificing various flowers, changing one's appearance, writing bad poetry…but that is another topic. Needless to say, Lwaxana's advances were unwanted.

When Lwaxana and I became trapped in a turbolift, I was dreading the time alone we would have to spend together. Her incessant speaking and flirtations were enough to drive me mad.

But then, as the hours past, she became…somehow different. She seemed less irritating and more pleasant a companion.

When I was beginning to lose the ability to hold my shape as time for my regeneration cycle grew near, I feared that we would not be rescued from the turbolift in time. No one besides the scientist who studied me on Bajor had ever seen me in my liquid state. To me I was weak and vulnerable, and I did not wish for anyone to see me like that.

She knew how I felt. She suddenly held out her hair to me, the wig that she used to hid her "plain" black hair. She was afraid of someone seeing her as plain or ordinary, just as I was afraid of being seen as weak. But she did not seem plain without her wig. Perhaps I was not truly weak when not in solid form.

I so trusted her, and she kept me safe in a pool she made with her dress as I regenerated.

And now, as flamboyant as Lwaxana still is, I feel much more comfortable around her. She was not at all what I expected. And, although I am not attracted to her as she is to me, I like her.

But don't tell her that.