Author's Note: This fic is set during the s5 episodes "In Purgatory's Shadow" & "By Inferno's Light." Thus, it helps to have seen the episodes before reading. Much thanks to the brilliant writers who created that fantastic duo.
Disclaimer: I do not own or pretend to own or profit from these characters, this story, or this song. All DS9 characters belong to their creators, and thanks to Michael W. Smith for this beautiful song, "Somewhere Somehow." Also, thanks to the incredible actors and actresses that brought these characters to life, long after their stories ended.
To My Heart
Standing in our silence
I hear my heart beating
And if only I could choose
I'd stay here with you
But hold me till the train is leaving
"I don't know what makes me angrier," Jadzia fumed, "—that you agreed to go into the Gamma Quadrant with Garak, or that I had to hear it from Sisko!" She stopped pacing to confront the stoic Klingon sitting before her, methodically honing his mek'leth blade.
"I was going to tell you," Worf intoned, never once looking up from his work. His placid features infuriated her as they'd never before.
"When? On your way out the airlock?" she retorted.
Worf inhaled and straightened his broad shoulders in that all-too-familiar way. Jadzia braced herself for the classic excuse: "A Klingon warrior does not have to explain why he chooses to face danger. Not even to his par'machkai."
There. He'd hit the nail on the head, to use the old Terran expression. It wasn't about her anger, or her hurt feelings, or even his failure to tell her. It was about his safety, whether he would come back in one piece. Or if he'd come back at all.
Jadzia gazed at Worf's handsome features, feeling her breath catch in her throat. How could one man do this to her? Make her breathless and aching and so incredibly frustrated, all at the same time? Sensing the tears threatening to fall, Jadzia allowed her anger to take over again.
"So, in other words, you were afraid I'd make a scene. That I'd embarrass you. Maybe even cry." She refused to wince at the sarcasm shredding her words.
Jadzia caught the nervousness tingeing Worf's rumbled reply. "You are capable of anything."
"Don't worry, Worf. I won't be shedding any tears over you," she said, voice deceptively smooth.
"Ah," the Klingon confidence returned. "Then you came to wish me a good death in battle."
The gall of him! That did it. Jadzia's eyebrows rose and she took a deep breath to steady herself. "No," she began, bending down to open the table drawer, "I came for these."
At last, Worf looked up from the all-important mek'leth. He watched her fingers close around the isolinear rods, the tiny room fairly crackling with his sudden tension. There was a long silence as Jadzia waited.
"My Klingon operas."
"Well, you won't be using them for the next few days. Somebody might as well enjoy them."
Worf's shoulders seemed taut enough to snap. Jadzia wondered if she'd gone too far, but she just as quickly shook off her doubts. It didn't matter—she'd already crossed the line. She watched as he stood, crossed the room in half a step, and busied himself with storing his mek'leth.
Heart sinking, Jadzia turned to leave. Then she paused. Who was she kidding? She couldn't just leave him like this. Not when she was so desperately in love with him. What if he never came back?
"What? Something wrong?" Hesitancy colored her voice, and she hated herself for it. Or did she?
"You have a tendency…to misplace things," came Worf's reluctant answer.
A disbelieving laugh escaped her throat, and it took all her willpower not to walk out the door. "And you're afraid that I might lose your precious operas?"
Even more reluctant. "Yes."
Pause. "It's a distinct possibility," she said playfully, love overpowering anger. "If I were you," she continued, stepping toward him, "I'd hurry back. That is—" she closed the remaining distance between them, "—if you want to keep your collection intact."
And then she kissed him, channeling all her love, fear, and hope into it, shoving back her tears with a ferocity that shocked her.
She pulled back far enough to lock her glowing blue eyes with his fathomless brown ones, whispering the only goodbye he would accept. "Have a glorious death—or don't. It's up to you."
Stepping away, Jadzia let her hands fall from his shoulders, her fingers brushing the purplish gray of his uniform, the sharp edges of his combadge, and finally, empty air. She felt the loss of connection in the core of her being, and fought against the sense of loneliness enveloping her.
Their silence hung in the room as she fled into the Defiant's narrow hall, at last free to surrender to her tears.
Somewhere down the line
After you're gone from sight
Our love will be the same
And, whispering your name,
I'll cling to you with all my might
Jadzia didn't check the station departure schedule for a single reason: she couldn't bear to say goodbye to Worf again. But she did, however, manage to call in a favor and switch shifts with Lieutenant Grettan.
Free of duties until the gamma shift, Jadzia made her way to upper pylon three and sat hunched against the bulkhead for hours, staring out at the stars, until she saw Worf's runabout rise from Pad C and streak through the wormhole.
As the brilliant blue tendrils spiraled and winked out of view, Jadzia felt something leave her. She shuddered at the sudden emptiness, and wondered if she'd ever see him again.
"Worf…" His name slipped from her tongue, whispery soft. Warmly familiar. She tried to console herself by recalling past goodbyes, searching both her memories and Dax's, but they all seemed to pale in comparison, dimmed by the passage of time.
The ache in her heart grew and spread into every corner of her body. Some distant part of her mind told her that her limbs and vertebrae were just responding to the hours of cramped positioning, but she brushed the thought aside.
Then, hunched on the uncarpeted deck plates, Jadzia wrapped her arms around her knees and wept, clinging to the hope that Worf would one day return to her.
Let me dream of you
But it's true
And wake me up when this is over
Jadzia sighed heavily, tossing her wrinkled uniform into the recycler. The soft purple fabric of her nightgown swished against her spotted legs as she walked from her bedroom to the living area of her quarters, fingers tiredly unknotting braided hair as she went.
For the past two days, she'd thrown herself into her work, using the ever-changing demands of a deep space station to distract her. She'd pulled a double shift that day, and would've worked a third had Benjamin not pulled her aside and ordered her to get some rest.
"I'm not tired, Benjamin. Really. Just let me work."
"You fell asleep at the staff briefing."
"But it was Forbes talking—everybody falls asleep during his reports!"
"That's enough, Old Man."
She'd stopped then, recognizing that tone. Benjamin had cocked a knowing eyebrow at her and herded her out his office door. He'd even gone so far as to have Odo escort her to her quarters.
Now she was alone, with nothing to occupy her mind but Worf's absence. He should have been back by now, or at least notified the station if he and Garak had continued onward.
Jadzia sank onto the couch, drawing a blanket about her shoulders. She really should try to get some rest. Benjamin would never let her back into Ops looking like she'd reenacted Kahless and Lukara for an entire shift. Shutting her eyes, she tried to find sleep.
It was no use. After an hour of restless shifting, she threw off the blanket and stalked into the bedroom. Eyes stinging, she rummaged through her dresser until she found what she sought.
Closing her eyes, Jadzia brought the hunter-green material to her face, inhaling its scent. Warm, and earthy, with hints of spicy Klingon cuisine scattered throughout. Worf's scent. He'd given her the shirt a week ago, when she'd mentioned how much it reminded her of her father.
Her father. The gentle, unassuming farmer. He'd always worn clothes the color of the earth he loved, clothes that personified his quiet ways and welcoming nature. Kela had passed so much on to Jadzia; so much that still remained, even through her joining to Dax. And somehow, Worf reminded her of her father. She didn't exactly know how, since on the surface they appeared opposites. He just did. And so he'd given her the shirt.
She smiled sadly at the memory and sank onto her bed, the shirt still dangling from her fingertips. He could be so thoughtful, so romantic, despite his rough Klingon façade. Was he thinking of her now? Wherever he was?
Jadzia sighed and lay down, pillowing her head on the shirt. Hours later, she drifted to sleep with visions of Worf's love dancing through her mind.
Somewhere far beyond today
I will find a way to find you
And somehow through the lonely nights
I will leave a light in the dark
Let it lead you to my heart
Jadzia's chest throbbed, and she shut her eyes in an attempt to curb the pain. Twenty hours. Worf had 20 hours to make it home. So short a time. How could he possibly make it? And why wasn't she out there looking for him? Instead she was stuck in the Ops pit, remodulating deflector frequencies and rigging phase conjugate graviton beams.
Twenty-six hours ago, she'd clung to her work as if to a lifeline. Shield calibrations, field modulations, spectral scans—they'd all swirled together in a dizzying vortex called busyness. Work had kept her distracted, forced her mind away from Worf's absence and her growing anxiety.
Now, work was her enemy.
They were destroying the wormhole. Collapsing it to keep the Dominion out, but Jadzia couldn't help thinking that they were doing it to keep Worf and Garak in. Of course, that was ridiculous; Dax knew that Benjamin would never willingly condemn anyone to life in the enemy's hands—not even Garak. Still, even three-and-a-half centuries of experience couldn't keep Jadzia's heart from rebelling against the work she'd fought to continue a day ago.
Experience, she soon realized, had nothing to do with it. No matter how many times she lived through separation from loved ones, each time it was as frightening and unbearable as the first. Jadzia Dax would have to learn to handle the pain in her own way, just as Lela Dax had 200 years ago, and Tobin, and Emony, and all the others since. Unfortunately, that knowledge didn't make it any easier.
Sighing, Jadzia shoved strands of hair out of her face and sank to the hull plates. She desperately needed to get away from here, away from the work, the stress, the demands of the machines. The responsibility of billions of lives. If only for an hour, she needed to get away.
I can't give up on him. I can't keep doing this. He deserves more than to die in some prison camp thousands of light years away from home. Wherever that is.
It came to her, there on the riveted floor, unbidden, as if whispered in her ear. She had to get away, and it had to be to the only home Worf had known since setting foot on DS9.
Jadzia heaved herself to her feet, ignoring the protests from her aching body. Signaling for Ensign J'icho to relieve her, she climbed the ladder to Ops' main level and headed for the 'lift. A few minutes later, she stepped past the security detail at Airlock 7 and onto the Defiant's bridge. Then, she threaded her way through the maze of doors, turbolifts, and corridors required to reach Worf's quarters.
At her command, the door slid into the bulkhead with the gentle shushing characteristic of all Starfleet-issue entrances. She stepped through, subconsciously lifting her feet as if to avoid a raised threshold. Five-and-a-half years on a Cardassian space station would do that to you.
The silence of the room depressed her. She considered doubling back to retrieve the borrowed operas, but dismissed the notion quickly. She was on duty, and not even Benjamin would understand her impulsive desire for Klingon culture. Not to mention the fright she'd give the security guards outside.
Jadzia stepped farther into the room—two paces brought her to the opposite bulkhead—and took in the drab features. She'd never understand Worf's love for this ship, just as she doubted she'd ever fully grasp his concept of honor. But the fact that both were important to him was enough for Jadzia.
On the table that doubled as a workspace and nightstand, there stood a picture of Worf and his estranged son, Alexander. Jadzia absently traced the frame's edge, wondering if she'd ever get to meet the boy. The drawer, she knew, housed Worf's collection of Klingon operas (when she wasn't borrowing them), a few padds, his tooth sharpener, and various gifts he'd received from the Enterprise's crew. On the lower bunk lay a sort of thick fur in place of the Starfleet-issue blanket. Under the bed was a case holding Worf's mek'leth and seldom-used bat'leth.
At first, before she'd gotten to know Worf, Jadzia had thought the room austere and depressing, devoid of the personality she so loved to express. Now, she realized that what she'd interpreted as Klingon arrogance—a separation from all things sentimental—was simply Worf's way. He'd struggled with his Klingon heritage since he was a boy, she knew, and was just now learning who he was and what that meant to him.
She sank onto the edge of the bed, hunching to keep from smacking her head against the upper bunk. The fur blanket was soft and comforting to the touch, and she sighed quietly. Three days' worth of tension seeped from her limbs, replaced by soothing warmth. Being here, in Worf's room, surrounded by his belongings, gave her a sense of hope. Somehow, she'd bring him home.
Her combadge chirped, and the tension returned. "Sisko to Dax." Ben's voice did nothing to ease her aching heart.
"We're ready to proceed. Chief O'Brien needs your help up here."
"On my way," she replied, and cut the channel. Jadzia unfolded herself from the bed and stepped to the door, her heart sinking lower every second. The hope she'd nurtured moments ago had vanished, and she wanted desperately to get it back. The doors shushed open; she paused, turning.
"I'll bring you back, Worf. I promise," she whispered fiercely to the empty room. "If only by the strength of our love, I'll bring you back."
There's a love inside us
Deep down inside
That goes without saying
Don't say a word
But I'll tell you just the same
"Our last listening post in the Gamma Quadrant just went dead." Kira's voice was all-business; tension in Ops was off the charts.
"That one was right on the other side of the wormhole," Jadzia reported.
"Which means that the Dominion fleet is minutes away. Chief!"
"Nearly ready," O'Brien answered, not even bothering with formalities. Not that Benjamin would have noticed.
Jadzia's heart pounded, but her anxiety had nothing to do with the thousands of Jem'Hadar ships behind the wormhole. Worf's visage filled her face, and she felt tears threatening to fall. I'm sorry, my love. I'm so, so sorry. "Worf…"
I love you.
And that love will fan the flame
And that flame will warm the heart
Jadzia's heart teetered between elation and depression.
Benjamin was stressed, Kira was furious, and O'Brien was baffled. Julian was mystifyingly quiet.
Someone had sabotaged the emitter array, allowing the Dominion in, but Worf a way out. That was the part that made her want to dance.
Cardassia had joined the Dominion. That was the part that made her want to crawl into a hole and die. That, and the fact that no one had heard from Worf or Garak for days. Coming up on a week.
Someone tell me this is a bad dream.
That's what she'd said at the staff briefing yesterday, and that's still the way she felt today. Even with all the busyness of prepping the station for an attack, Jadzia couldn't distract herself from Worf's absence.
Now, as she and Kira made their way to Ops, she was silent, sucked into the chaos that was her mind. She'd learned days ago that work provided no relief, and neither did Starfleet detachment. Not even Dax's steady presence could eradicate the turmoil within her. Yes, it allowed her some moments of sanity, and a mask to wear while she worked, but…
They reached the 'lift, and entered without a sound. The silence abounded until Kira's voice pierced it.
Jadzia stirred, turning to give Kira a look. "What is it?"
Kira's brown eyes searched her face for what seemed like an eternity before she answered.
"You," Kira repeated, calm as a meditating vedek.
"What about me?"
The major smiled and shook her head, worrying Jadzia even more. "There's no use hiding it, Jadzia."
"Your feelings. Your hurt, your worry, your uncertainty. Just because you're three-hundred-fifty years older than the rest of us doesn't mean you don't experience the same doubts we do."
Jadzia slumped against the turbolift's wall, all the resistance draining from her. "Is it that obvious?"
Kira grinned. "Only to the ones who know you best."
She smiled at that.
"You wanna talk about it?" Nerys's voice was soft. Jadzia closed her eyes and moaned slightly.
"I wish I could, but we haven't got the time."
She heard the chirp of a combadge. "Kira to Sisko."
"Go ahead, Major."
"Dax and I'll be a little late. Will that be a problem?"
"Not at all. I was about to tell you to take your time. Odo's run into some trouble with runabout security; I had to push the briefing back an hour. Take all the time you want."
"Understood. Kira out." Turning to Jadzia, she said, "Now, what was that about time?"
Back in Kira's quarters, Dax sank onto the couch and sighed, allowing her eyes to drift closed. She vaguely registered the cool fabric against her cheek, the distant sound of Kira's voice, the low buzz of the replicator. She didn't open her eyes until the tantalizing smell of raktajino drifted into her nostrils.
"Double raktajino, piping hot?" Jadzia could hear the smile in Kira's words.
"With extra cream?" she asked hopefully, pushing herself into a sitting position.
"You got it," Kira said, handing her the steaming mug.
"Mm, you're amazing."
"I'll remember that next time you corner me for the holosuites."
They chuckled, and Kira settled into a chair opposite the couch. For several minutes, they sipped their coffee in silence, enjoying the lazy companionship. It wasn't until her raktajino was half gone that Jadzia felt the need to speak.
"When you were in the Resistance, were you ever…afraid for the ones you loved?"
Kira lowered her mug to her lap and stared into it, her expression indecipherable. "I suppose that, when you were in the Resistance, it wasn't so much fear for your loved ones as much as it was fear for yourself. Fear of what would happen to you if they died."
Jadzia let the silence stretch between them as she considered Kira's words. They made sense—a frightening amount of sense. And she wasn't sure she liked them.
"Why do you ask?"
She glanced up, sorting through her reasons. "Because I'm afraid for someone I love," she said softly.
"But you're also afraid for yourself," the major finished.
Jadzia nodded, grateful that Kira hadn't mentioned Worf, even though it was obvious he was the one she referred to. "And I'm not exactly sure how to handle it."
"None of us know how to, Jadzia. Not even Joined Trill." She paused, letting the words sink in. "Tell me something—were any of your past hosts married?"
Jadzia nodded as she answered. "Four. Lela, Tobin, Audrid, and Torias. Lela twice, after her first husband died."
"And were they ever separated from their spouses in a time of danger?"
Again, Jadzia nodded. "Audrid's husband Jayvin went away on several reconnaissance missions during the war, and Audrid had to stay behind to head the Symbiosis Commission. And Torias was a soldier for years before he became joined to Dax and took up test piloting. Nilani told him she could never stop worrying about him then."
"What kept them going, during those times?"
"You mean, what kept them from collapsing?" She didn't think twice about her answer. "Their love."
"Their love, or their fear?"
"Their love. The fear they underwent stemmed from their love. Their devotion to their spouses, their…connection with them."
Kira only smiled and traced a finger along the rim of her cup.
"Was that all you wanted to know?"
"No, that's all you wanted to know," Kira said, jumping to her feet. "And now I've got to get a shower before the staff briefing. Crawling around in the Defiant's Jefferies tubes isn't the best way to keep clean. They really should dust them once in a while."
With that, Kira headed for her bedroom, leaving Jadzia to puzzle over her cryptic reply.
What kept them going? Their love, or their fear?
"Their love, or their fear? Love…fear…" Her mumbles faded into nothingness as she considered the answer she'd given.
The fear they underwent stemmed from their love. Their devotion…their connection. The fear they underwent—
"—stemmed from their love."
Jadzia suddenly remembered something Audrid's mother had told her when she'd called crying one night, afraid for Jayvin's safety.
"Love doesn't mean you never fear. Loving someone means you care for them, and when you care for someone, you fear for their safety. If anything, fear is testimony to how much you love them."
I love Worf, Jadzia thought, and I fear for him, too. Because I love him, I fear for him.
So which was stronger? she asked herself, exiting Kira's quarters.
By the time she reached Ops, Jadzia had no doubts.
You are mine and I'll wait for you my love
You are mine it may take some time
Even if it takes a lifetime
Tell me you'll wait
Off-duty at last.
Jadzia collapsed onto her bed, too exhausted even to shed her boots. She felt she could sleep a week and still be tired. In fact, she almost wished she could sleep that long. At least then she'd have no awareness of the passage of time. Of the minutes and hours and days ticking by, with no sign of Worf's return. Of the agony of loneliness, and despair, and…nothingness.
But a sliver of hope, harbored deep in her heart, said she wanted to stay awake for every nanosecond of the coming days. Because then she could picture the lines of Worf's face, imagine the warmth of his arms around her, long for his return. She could dream him home, and then he would be there, at the airlock, strong and handsome and loving as ever.
No matter how long it took, she would wait. Now, while she was young, she would wait. When Starfleet reassigned her, she would wait. When she was old and gray and retired, she would wait. She would die waiting for him. She would die, and Dax's next host would walk around with memories of Jadzia's hope and dreams and longing. Memories of love. Memories of waiting.
Jadzia would wait.
And somewhere alone
I will be praying you home
I know somehow our love
The cold of the uncarpeted deck plates bit through her uniform, and Jadzia clasped her knees to her chest. Before her, the station's metal frame cut through the swathe of stars; pylons, rings, crossovers—they connected and formed the hulking monster that she called her home.
She stared out across the docking ring, eyes sweeping around to the crossover, wandering the Promenade level, raking the Ops level, jumping to upper pylon two and dropping back to the docking ring, trickling down the lower pylons like water off a stalactite in the Caves of Mak'ala.
They came to rest on Pad C. Her heart squeezed tight, arresting the oxygen in her lungs. She closed her eyes.
Worf was coming home. After eleven days in a Dominion prison camp, he was really coming home. Bringing Garak with him. And the real General Martok…the real Julian Bashir. Not the Changelings. Everything was turning out the way it should. The way she'd hoped and dreamed and prayed.
Jadzia opened her eyes. Looked at Pad C. Looked toward the invisible wormhole.
Our love will lead me to your arms
The lieutenant on duty beamed him directly to Sickbay, and Jadzia allowed Julian two seconds to work before tearing toward the Infirmary. She got there in record time, out of breath and flushed, but there. She ignored Julian's protests and burst into the inner room. Worf lay there on the biobed, battered and bruised, but alive. Very much alive.
A sob escaped her as she flew to his side; her tears soaked the bared red of his uniform, bathed the bruises on his cheeks. He embraced her, holding her tight against his cracked ribs. She shook with the force of her sobs. Her cries of joy and relief and love.
Minutes passed that way—his arms around her, her tears washing his battered face. Eventually, she calmed down enough to pull back. Sniffing, she dashed the tears from her eyes, smeared their trails into her spots. "You're back," she whispered, nearly breaking down all over again.
"I am back," he said, eyes glowing.
She smiled mischievously and leaned against him, the weight of his arms still warm about her waist. "I guess this means you want your collection back."
"Intact," he growled, leveling her with a glare.
Her eyebrows arched playfully. "More or less," she said, shrugging her shoulders.
His frown fell away, replaced by that glimmer of a smile only she knew. And then he kissed her. Long and full and exactly as she'd dreamed for the past two weeks.
Challenge: Write a fic of these episodes from Worf's POV-and let me know if you do! I'd love to read it.