There is a pretty simple test to see if DS9 belongs to me. Did a movie come out five years ago in which Odo returned? No? Okay, then I guess it's not mine, and I'm not making any money off it. Please don't sue me.

If he goes back to sleep, he'll have the dream.

He's over her. He is.


"Nerys, what're you—"

"Shhh. Shhhhh."


He stares at the ceiling and thinks that word. Trust.



Her hand is making circles on his chest.

Her lips are pressed firm against his cheek.

"I thought you hung the stars in the sky," he tells his ceiling. His voice is rasping and wet. The words are borrowed from a romance novel.

His body is not his. Nothing ever has been.

"You've always been better than me at making friends. And that's—aaaah. That's saying something. You're pretty horrible at it."

"Nerys…please, I need to know why…why are you—"

In the dream, it's puzzling why Nerys has taken to his bed. Why she has curled next to him.

But not frightening.

Nerys would never hurt him.

Her lips her lips her lips are pressed against his cheek and she is so warm next to him and she will never leave and it will stop hurting to be stuck in this body trapped and human and solid because she will be there and she will kiss him soft and sweet oh oh

"Shut up!"

He's over her. But.

But he grew up in a lab. He grew up with impersonal and invasive touches, pain. Surprises. Containers. Tests. And so he's terrified of sex, skittish of any contact, doesn't want anything to do with the indignity and humiliation and constant gnawing fretting worry that initiation into it seems to entail.

Only Nerys has ever made him feel like he might be safe.

"Ssh, Odo. Ssssh." She does not pull away.

He is tired but wide awake.

He is solid and alone.

If he sleeps, the dream will come.

And go.