Disclaimer: I do not own nor claim to own any of the following characters, places, or events. Lyrics at the beginning are from Jon McLaughlin's "So Close," as featured in Disney's Enchanted.
Author's Note: A not-quite-novelization of the season 6 finale "Tears of the Prophets." First in the "Jadzia's Legacy" series.
Don't Let Go
How could I face the faceless days if I should lose you now?
"Worf?" Jadzia called, breezing from the bedroom into the living area of their quarters. She held her brush in one hand and a padd in the other, and was heading straight for the replicator. One of the dozen things on her mind that second, besides telling Worf what she'd just heard from Sisko, was a steaming raktajino. "Never mess with a Dax before they've had their morning coffee," she muttered as she tossed her brush onto the couch. The padd soon clattered onto the table, contesting with Worf's rumbled reply.
She couldn't keep the smile from her face at the exasperated edge to his voice.
"Benjamin called in on the comm while you were in the 'fresher. Said to tell you Admiral Ross has scheduled a council between the Klingons and Romulans at 0700. He wants you there—for Starfleet—and Martok wants you there, too."
"Understood," Worf said, and exited their quarters.
Shaking her head at her husband's pureblooded Klingon reply, Jadzia turned her full attention to the replicator. "Double raktajino, extra sweet," she ordered, waiting impatiently for the mug to materialize. (What did we do before replicators? she wondered absently.) Curzon had preferred the brutal strength of a straight raktajino—the kind that sent electricity buzzing through his veins and Dax to shuddering in his abdominal pocket. But Jadzia, always the sweet tooth, saved the real stuff for an occasional 52-hour work shift and all-nighters.
"I'm not Curzon," she said, toasting an invisible companion. Smiling around the rim of her cup, Jadzia remembered just how often she'd said those words four years ago, to the jittery Arjin.
"The time is 0600 hours."
"Yikes," Jadzia muttered, gulping down the last of her coffee. "Kira's gonna kill me if I'm late again."
With that, Jadzia set the empty mug on a side table and rushed from the room, intent on making it to Ops in record time. Twenty seconds later, she hurtled back through the doors and disappeared into her closet, emerging with her hair clip moments after.
The doors to Sisko's office hissed open, and Jadzia high-stepped over the raised threshold. Sisko sat in his chair, palming his baseball none too gently.
"So," she began, eyes dancing with trademark mischief, "how'd it go?"
"About as well as arguing logic with a Vulcan," Benjamin countered, his brow lowered considerably.
"That bad, huh?"
"That bad, Old Man. That bad." He slammed the baseball onto his desk. Jadzia flinched, checking for cracks in the polished black surface.
"Mm. Are they cooperating?"
"The Romulans? Yes. Though," here Sisko raised his index finger and shook it at her as if it would help make his point, "I could almost swear they did it out of their blasted Romulan arrogance than any interest in ending this war."
"You're probably right," she agreed, turning to the side and clasping her hands loosely behind her back. "So when do we leave?"
"The Defiant's scheduled to depart at 0400 tomorrow morning."
Jadzia grimaced. "Who's idea was that?"
"Mine," Benjamin answered grimly, his expression telling her he hadn't been thinking at the time.
"Well, then, guess I'd better forgo the late-night tongo session."
Jadzia glanced back at her friend and captain, recognizing the awkwardness to his voice. "What, Benjamin? I thought you liked it when I cleaned Quark out."
He looked like he was about to launch into an explanation, but thought better of it. Drilling her eyes with his, he said, "You're not going, Old Man."
"I'm leaving you in charge of the station."
A swell of emotions crested in Jadzia's chest, and she couldn't think clearly enough to voice her questions. "W-why?" she finally managed.
"Starfleet wants me to head up the mission, but they don't want to leave the station unguarded."
"Unguarded? Benjamin, Kira's more than capable of keeping her head if it should come to combat. I hardly think I'm necessary."
"Well, Odo then," Jadzia said, grasping now. "He's chief of security."
"He's going, too, Old Man."
Jadzia opened her mouth, but closed it just as quickly. It wouldn't do any good to argue, especially with Sisko. And he had Starfleet backing him on this one.
"I suppose that means Worf's going, too."
Sisko nodded, and she resigned herself to her fate.
Jadzia had dinner waiting for Worf when he got in from the last minute prepping of the Defiant. She also had a lecture.
"I can't believe you're all going off to war and leaving me here on the station!" she exclaimed the minute they sat down. "Whose idea was that?"
"It was not mine," Worf responded evenly after swallowing a mouthful of gagh.
"Then whose was it?" she cried indignantly. "Surely not Benjamin's!"
Worf's silence was answer enough.
"I can't believe him!" she fumed. "Kira, Odo, Garak—even Jake is going!"
"He thought you the best for the job. You should be honored."
"Worf," she began, suddenly exhausted, "don't start preaching to me about honor. There's nothing honorable in staying behind on a space station while your husband and all your friends risk their lives for your already ensured safety."
"It is honorable to obey your commanding officer."
His quiet reprimand silenced her ranting.
"I'm sorry, Worf. I jus—"
"No explanation is necessary. I, too, am…unhappy with the way things are. You are my par'machkai. It is wrong that I should go into battle, and you should stay behind. But there is nothing either of us can do to change it."
A smile stole across Jadzia's face, and she had to fight to hold back the tears. What had she done to deserve someone as loyal and true as Worf?
"But, for the record, I did try," he added, a rare smile teasing his lips. A smile that only she, his par'machkai, had the privilege of knowing.
"Thank you," Jadzia mouthed, not trusting her voice, or her heart, for more.
"I suggest that we finish quickly, as 0400 will come sooner than expected," Worf said, his attention returning to the wiggling gagh. It was fresh torgud, his favorite.
Jadzia's shoulders drooped a bit at the thought of turning in early. She'd hoped to make the most of her last night with Worf. Somehow, fencing in the holosuite or burrowing close in each other's arms on the couch while talking late into the night made saying goodbye easier.
Worf's playful tone made her look up.
"—I booked a holosuite for us in an hour. I would not want to keep our enemies waiting."
She smiled, and the night suddenly seemed much brighter.
Benjamin Sisko, decorated Starfleet officer and captain of Deep Space 9, paced the length of his quarters like a Jem'Hadar in a holding cell. He knew he should at least be in bed, trying to get some sleep, but the very thought made him pace all the faster.
"I've had enough, Ben. Either you're the Emissary of the Prophets, or you're a Starfleet captain."
Admiral Ross's words banged around in his head, the cause of his fierce headache. Which was he? Emissary, or captain? Of Bajor, or of Starfleet?
"The Sisko is of Bajor…It is where he belongs…It is where he is meant to be…"
Back and forth, back and forth. Benjamin didn't notice the burning exhaustion in his legs. To and fro, to and fro. He didn't notice the pounding in his head anymore, either. The words of the Prophets echoed around him, engulfing his senses.
"The Sisko is of Bajor…It is dangerous to walk a different path…"
But in what way? How was it dangerous? Were They telling him not to go to Cardassia?
"The Sisko must not leave the chosen path…The Sisko is of Bajor…It is where he belongs…"
"How…?" he asked quietly, his voice more cry than question. What will happen if I go? Why is it dangerous? Who will suffer for my actions?
The questions pounded against his temples, over and over again.
"It is where he belongs…where he belongs…where he belongs…"
It was long past midnight before his quarters went dark, and even longer before his eyes closed in restless sleep.
Dax gripped the edge of the navigations console as the Defiant shuddered violently, enemy fire blasting its way through the little ship's shields. Righting herself quickly, Jadzia's fingers flew across the controls in an attempt to outmaneuver their pursuers. But there were too many—
—directly ahead, a Galor-class Cardassian warship loomed—
—on top of them, two Jem'Hadar fighters stuck with them, firing every split second—
—all around them, ship after ship opened fire on the Defiant.
No matter how she tried, Jadzia couldn't shake them. From across the bridge at ops, she heard Nog shout—
"Communications down, Captain!"
"Shields down to thirty-five percent!" came Worf's dire news from tactical II.
Garak, from his position at sciences, spun around and fired off a smart comment to Sisko. Jadzia didn't stop to listen, focusing all her energy on keeping the battered little vessel from colliding with an enemy warship. That is, until she heard a tremendous crack-zzzzzap from tactical II and a guttural cry that could only come from—
Jadzia's frantic eyes leapt from the helm's controls to the smoking console that was once tactical II to its empty chair and finally to the floor, where her husband, her beloved, her par'machkai, lay sprawled, smoke curling lazily, peacefully, wrongly from the blackened gray of his uniform. Terror scrabbled at her heart, and the acrid stench of seared Klingon filled her nostrils, just as every alarm on the Defiant clamored to life—
Jadzia lurched upright in bed, drenched in her own cold sweat. Her heart thundered in her ears, matching the heaving of her chest. She cast her eyes about wildly, trying to figure out where she was and why the Defiant hadn't exploded beneath her feet. Or maybe it had, and she was dead, waking up in the afterlife. Panic clawed up her throat and ripped its way out in the form of a long, low groan. Her heart raced faster and faster, nearing the threshold of warp ten, until—
A strong, comforting arm reached out and encircled her waist, drawing her close, tucking her against—
Jadzia collapsed against her husband's sleeping form, relief slapping over her. It had all been a dream. A nightmare. She wasn't on the Defiant, in the middle of a war zone with enemy ships bearing down on her from all sides, and her dying mate lying at her feet. She was safe on DS9, in her own bed, beside her sleeping husband.
Taking deep breaths to calm her heart and convince the rest of her body that it was okay to unwind, Jadzia slowly relaxed into Worf's unconscious embrace, resting in the knowledge that, for now, all was right in her universe.