What Lies Ahead

By Ginomo

This is the continuation of my story "Blessings Of the Prophets," which was my own version of the DS9 episode "Tears of the Prophets." In that story, Gul Dukat does not kill Jadzia. She and Worf are able to conceive a child. She is forced to leave the station and live on Bajor because of complications due to her pregnancy. This story takes place during the time of the series finale of DS9, "What You Leave Behind." This story picks up after Jadzia has been away from Deep Space Nine almost nine months, and war with the Dominion is still raging.


Sunset on Bajor was always bittersweet for Jadzia and Worf. It was beautiful; the way the sky was lit up with an array of oranges and reds, and the way it hung over the trees to make a magnificent glow. It was also painful. Because that meant Worf's visit was about to end, and he would be heading back to work on DS9 and away from his wife.

The couple sat on the balcony of Jadzia's small home on the planet surface. She was reclining peacefully in a rocking chair. Worf watched the gentle smile on her face, the way her body swayed with the rhythm of the chair. He gazed at her round, full belly.

"I must go soon," he whispered.

She let out a gentle moan, and squeezed his hand tighter.

"How do you feel?" he asked.

"Good."

She wasn't being truthful and he knew it. Her pregnancy had left her body weak and frail; that's why she was on Bajor and not on DS9 working. However, he accepted her deception, "That's good."

Jadzia could feel the warmth of the sun on her face, the warmth of her husband's hand on hers, and the warmth of the child inside her. The feelings made her smile.

"I want to come home," she whispered. Not in the longing way she usually did, but with a definitive tone that let Worf know that she was going to come home.

He didn't argue. Didn't feel like arguing. He gazed at her stomach, and the consequences of her coming home didn't matter. She was close to delivering, and, more than anything, he wanted to be there during it. He hadn't been there for Alexander. He uttered a patient, "Alright."

"Tonight."

Still no argument. No words of discouragement. No reminders of her weak condition, and of the danger war brought to DS9. No reminders of the no civilian rule placed on the station during wartime. Again, he uttered, "Alright."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Part of Jadzia wanted to go around and talk to everyone; she hadn't been on the station since she left at the end of last year. Her friends, Ben, Miles, Julian, Kira, Odo and even Quark, had all come to visit her on Bajor for her birthday two months ago. And Worf had been to see her at every chance he got. Bajor was about three hours away by runabout, and he made the journey almost once a week. Even still, it was too long apart.

"I'm sure our quarters look a mess," she whispered to him. Worf noticed her grip on his arm was unusually tight. She was weaker than she let on to him. Every day he thought about how sick she was, and he prayed to Kahless that she would make it through this all right.

"I am surprised you would think that," he answered, "Which one of us is the disorganized one? Our quarters have been much more orderly since you left."

Being home made Jadzia feel alive again. While her time on Bajor was relaxing, she missed her home, she missed DS9. She hated to admit to Worf how sick she'd been.

Almost a year ago, Julian told she and Worf they would never be able to have a child together, yet they proved him wrong. And when she finally got pregnant, her body was thrown into flux; it was impossible for her to produce the enzymes necessary to carry a half Klingon child. Her health deteriorated with every passing month, until she was on 26 hour a day bed rest. She didn't mind, though, she wanted to do whatever it took to give her husband this child. It meant more to her than even she could understand.

Jadzia also knew how her husband worried incessantly, and because of that, she hid her condition as much as she could. It took every ounce of strength that she had, and then some, just to walk from the airlock to their quarters on level seven. She plastered a smile on her face, and made sure he never noticed.

When they entered the door, Jadzia's strength finally gave. Her knees buckled and her face flushed. She almost fell down right in the doorway.

Worf caught her in his arms, terror flashing on his face, "Jadzia!"

"I'm okay, I'm okay. Just help me up…"

He did more than that. With one stroke, Worf lifted her into his arms, "I'm taking you to bed."

"I'm okay, really."

His face was pensive as he carried her into the room, "You have been lying to me."

His bluntness shocked her, "What?"

Gently, he placed her body on the bed, and began to help her out of her clothes, "You try to lead me to believe that you are not as sick as you are, but I know you. I know better. You are not well at all, and you will stay in our quarters the rest of your pregnancy. I should not have brought you back."

Jadzia laughed to herself. She was definitely home, "Worf, what are you talking about?"

He looked up at her, "You know what I am talking about. You are not well, and you do not have to hide it from me."

She sighed, "Okay, I'm sorry, but-"

"Jadzia…"

She continued, "But, I am not a child. I know you worry, I know that. But you can't protect me at all times."

He knew she was right. Sometimes he coddled her like a child, never letting the least bit of harm to come anywhere near her. It's not that he didn't trust her to care for herself, he just trusted himself even more.

"Then I apologize as well," he sighed, and continued to take her shoes off, "The thought of something happening to you, and now to our child, is unbearable."

"You know, you have tried to hide things from me too. When you were assigned to battle missions on the Defiant, or on the Rotarran… I always knew, even though you never told me."

Worf tried to justify himself, "Because of your condition, I wanted to keep you from worrying about me," he paused, "How did you know?"

She smirked, "When you would say goodbye to me, it would always be longer, more passionate. And you'd say something profound about the baby, and Alexander. As if that could the last time I'd see you."

He couldn't help but laugh, "Yes, yes I did."

Worf paused. He listened to her breathing, and felt her body get heavier lying next to his. She was falling asleep, "Jadzia?"

"Hmm?" she whispered wearily.

"I am leaving again."

She sighed, but not in surprise, in disgust, "Where are you going this time?"

"The entire fleet is launching an invasion on Cardassia. Tomorrow."

Her hands had been idly stroking his chest, but now, they tightly gripped the material of his clothing, "Cardassia?" she whispered.

"We are hoping that with this battle, the war will end. That's why I was willing to bring you home with me tonight."

Jadzia was grateful for the darkness of their bedroom. She was grateful that he couldn't see her eyes well with tears. She knew how incredibly dangerous, yet incredibly important this battle would be. Had she been married to anyone else, she would have shown her worry and sorrow over it. She would have reminded him of the danger; she would have begged him to stay, begged him not to leave her and her unborn child alone, especially when he was going on what could be a suicide mission.

But she was married to Worf, a Klingon warrior. It was the essence of his soul, to know that part of him was to know him. No, she would not beg. She would only do what any woman married to a solider could do. She'd hold him tightly, trying to transfer as much of her strength to him as possible. She'd hold him through this night, and not think about the fact that this could be the last.

She reached up and kissed his face, "Then I—then we—wish you well."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo~~

Worf was on the Defiant's bridge, lying on the floor, head inside of a console. The whole ship was abuzz with crewman making last minute repairs, upgrades and preparations. They were set to leave the station soon, and Worf wanted to get his work down so he could give one last goodbye to Jadzia before the departed.

"So, how's Jadzia doing?

The voice startled Worf, and he hit his head on the panel trying to sit up. The voice came from Captain Sisko, "Sir?"

Sisko smiled, "You really think you could keep a woman like Jadzia a secret?"

Worf's stomach clenched. Jadzia wasn't supposed to be on the station, no civilians were. Deep Space Nine had been declared a full service military installation, and due to the high risk of an attack, all non-essential personnel were removed. When Jadzia got pregnant, she was put on inactive duty, and moved to Bajor with the rest of the civilians.

"Sir, I know I should not have—"

Ben was still smiling, "Relax. Your wife came to see me this morning. She informed me that she was not going to have her child on Bajor, but here, in the place where she met and married her husband. She also told me that my best soldier needed her to be here with him for moral support."

Now Worf was smiling too, "Jadzia is a very formidable woman. It is her best quality."

"Dax has always been formidable."

Worf stood, "I understand she is not supposed to be here, I'm willing to suffer the—"

He shook his head, "I've got better things to do than to write you up over Jadzia. Besides, with this mission, we're ending this war. I didn't come here to get upset at you about Dax, I came to find out how the new Defiant is doing."

Worf walked the captain through the ship, going over the specs, and everything he'd been working on the past few days. Sisko listened intently, yet his mind was far from work. There were more important things going on, "So, what do you want, a boy or girl?"

"Sir?"

Sisko waved his hand, "I'm sure the ship will be fine. I'm tired of talking about work and war. I know you are excited about having a baby."

Worf couldn't help but smile, "Yes, sir I am. And so is Jadzia. We are both hoping for a daughter."

"So are Kasidy and I."

Worf's eyes widened, "Mrs. Sisko is pregnant?"

"We just found out. We haven't told very many people yet."

"Congratulations, Captain."

"Thank you. It's been awhile since I've had a baby around, it'll take some getting used to."

Worf's lips tightened, "I did not know my son at this age… I am somewhat apprehensive about it all."

"Your wife definitely has enough experience for both of you," Sisko offered.

"True. I find that I come to depend on her knowledge more and more each day," he sighed, "And for the first time in my life, I am approaching a battle feeling uneasy."

"Being married definitely complicates life, doesn't it?"

Worf and Sisko were sharing a rare personal moment. As Ben talked to him more, he realized that there was definitely a deep feeling man behind the hard exterior.

"I told her about the upcoming battle last night. She tried to show courage for me, but I could tell that she was afraid. For myself, I do not fear death. I just do not want to leave her alone with our child."

The conversation was interrupted by the sounding of Worf's comm. badge, "Doctor Bashir to Commander Worf..."

"Worf here."

"I need to see you in the infirmary… it's Jadzia."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Benjamin joined Worf in the infirmary. It amazed Sisko at the way Worf maintained and even calmness about him, even though it was obvious that he was worried. Everyone knew Jadzia had been sick, her body almost gave out on her on more than one occasion. Yet Worf skillfully hid his worry for her sake.

Bashir met the two men at the entrance and began speaking immediately, "She's doing okay… but, she went into labor early."

Worf spoke calmly, "May I see her?"

"Yes, of course. Right this way."

Worf had become all too familiar with the site of his wife lying on a biobed in one infirmary or another in the course of this pregnancy. Yet, the site of it still left him disturbed and startled. She was sitting upright, allowing a nurse to take her vital signs. He waited patiently.

"Worf!"

"Be still," he said, "Let the nurse finish."

She groaned, wishing the tiny Bajoran would stop scanning her, and wishing she could give her husband a hug right now. Worf stood off in the distance, watching pensively, not showing much emotion either way. To others, that might be disturbing. She was about to have their child, yet he didn't seem moved by it at all. But, as always, Jadzia could read her warrior like a book. His blank attitude was the only cover for the fact that he was afraid.

Once the nurse finished, Worf slowly walked to the bed and sat at her side, "Jadzia…"

"Hi!" She reached out and hugged him, "Did Julian tell you?" she asked excitedly, "I'll probably have the baby today!"

Worf still looked serious, "It is too soon…"

"Technically, no, it isn't. The doctor's could only make an educated guess on my due date, but nothing concrete. There aren't exactly a lot of Klingon/Trill pregnancies to draw information from, you know."

He cautiously touched her stomach, "How do you feel?"

"I'm okay. I'm excited! I can't want to see our baby. I can't wait to see the look on your face."

"I want you to be well, and, I know this pregnancy has left you ill."

She draped her arms over his shoulders, "Stop worrying."

"How long will it take?"

She sighed, "Don't know. Could take hours, could take days."

He lowered his eyes, "I am about to leave."

Jadzia could see the cloud of worry and doubt over her husband's face, "I know you want to be here, Worf."

"I do."

"But you need to go. With you out there fighting, I know this war will be over soon."

He took her hand in his, "Jadzia, I love you. You have meant more to me than anyone ever has. And our child—"

Her eyes were welling with tears. She placed a gentle hand over his mouth, "Please, no long, passionate goodbye."

Worf pulled her body to his, "Do not be afraid. I give you my word; I will return."

She grunted, "You can't make that kind of promise, Worf."

"I can. And I have. I will return."

She playfully hit his chest, "You'd better."

Worf stood. Then, he leaned down to kiss her face. She smiled. Worf leaned even lower and kissed her stomach, "I will return," he whispered to it. He meant it.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Sleep didn't come easily for Jadzia. She could feel her child moving restlessly inside her, fighting to get out, yet not sure how. The doctors kept stressing extreme caution; this was a delicate pregnancy, and had to be handled as such. They were going to allow it to progress naturally, which meant she could be in labor for days.

To feel her husband with her was all she wanted. That's what could make this more bearable. She'd lost track of how long he'd been gone. The Defiant had probably entered Cardassian space by now. Her throat tightened at the thought. He was entering danger. And as Captain Sisko's best soldier, he was always placed right in the middle of it all. She swallowed. Worf wasn't one to back down from a battle; it was in him to fight as long and hard as needed.

Thinking of her husband caused her to drift into a peaceful rest. She slept for a few hours, only to be startled by a sharp and sudden pain in her abdomen. She cried out in anguish, and could feel a pool of blood forming between her legs. What was happening? Where was the doctor? The pain struck her so fiercely, she could barely speak. Her insides where exploding, and fear gripped her heart. This wasn't right. Jadzia's eyes blurred and she dipped in and out of consciousness. She didn't even notice when the surgeons rushed to her side. She was whimpering like a child, the pain coursing through her body was more than she could take. Tear rolled from her eyes, and her only thought was that she simply could not lose this baby. Worf would be heartbroken. That was her final thought when she slipped into total blackness.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Worf was on autopilot. He performed his duty as he should have, did all the right things at the right times. Yet, for what was most likely the first time in his life, his heart was not in the battle. And such a glorious battle the seize of Cardassia was! He'd been in mechanical mode, not feeling the rumble of the engines as they plowed forward, not hearing the dart of the quantum torpedoes that left the weapons bay, and not seeing the planet Cardassia Prime virtually ablaze with the fires of defeat. These things usually fueled his heart and compelled him to break out in song.

Right now he, or at least his mind, was on Deep Space Nine. He was in the infirmary, holding his wife's hand, kissing her face, speaking softly to her as she brought forth their child.

The reality of what was happening here and now did not occur to him until Sisko turned command of the ship over to him, so that he, Ross and Martok could beam to the surface and officially take Cardassia as their own. The war had ended. It was peacetime now. He took several deep breaths and sat in the command chair

Suddenly, he thought of Alexander. The ship he was assigned to was also in the invasion fleet. He hailed them and requested a casualty list, and prayed to Kahless that his son's name wouldn't be listed. It was his roundabout what of checking up on his first born. He desperately wanted to hear from the station to see how Jadzia was. For all he knew, his second child could have been born by now.

An hour later, Captain Sisko signaled to the Defiant. They were beaming back with a prisoner, and heading directly Deep Space Nine. He was all too happy to lay that course in. He felt his heart swell, and his stomach turn over and over. He hadn't been nervous in ages, not even on his wedding day.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The three lead ships of the fleet, Sisko's, Martok's and Ross's, docked at DS9. There were many "end of war" formalities the three had to attend to. The Female Changeling was to be interrogated, and a treaty was being couried from Starfleet Command for all sides involved to sign. As soon as they docked, the crew was met with cheering crowds that lined the promenade, and the celebratory champagne that flowed freely. News traveled fast.

Worf slipped away from it all and entered the infirmary. The sound her heard upon entering made his heart so swell with happiness, he thought it would burst.

He rounded one of the corners and saw a nurse gently rocking an infant child. The child was crying fiercely, the sound could be heard all through the infirmary. The nurse was trying, with little success, to calm to newborn. Her lungs seemed stronger than any adult she knew, yet the baby was only hours old. Normally, she would have been given to her mother to be cared for, but that was impossible right now.

Worf stood there, watching. He couldn't see the child's face, yet he knew it was his own. He wanted to speak up, to make his presence known and to take his child into his arms. But he could not. He could not move from where he stood. All he could do was watch to nurse.

He didn't realize until now, but he was terrified of having such a delicate creature around. Worf was not used to delicacies, only things that were harsh, crude and rough. Yet this baby would require the tenderest of touches, the softest of hands, and Worf did not feel he was up to the task.

"Commander!" The nurse spotted him watching her from across the room. Her face lit up and she quickly approached, "We did not realize you had returned. I have someone for you meet…"

"This is..." he began to ask.

"Yes," she answered happily, even though the child's cries nearly drowned her words out, "This is your daughter. Would you like to hold her?"

His first instinct was to say no. Not because he didn't feel the profound love of fatherhood gripping his heart, but because he feared her didn't know how. Yet, before he could answer, the nurse had outstretched the child to him.

He cradled her in his broad arms. In her face he could see his wife, and himself, beautifully mixed together; the color of her skin, the tiny sloping ridges on her forehead, and the mottled spots on the sides of her face.

"My daughter," he whispered. The child's eyes opened to reveal startling black pupils. She settled happily into her father's embrace, and her loud cries turned to gentle coos.

"She knows it's you," the nurse whispered, still smiling.

Worf gazed at her more, and before long her was rocking her back and forth, walking around the infirmary and talking to her. She fell in love with her father soothing deep voice, and was mesmerized by his stunning face. And he fell in love with her.

Worf spent so much time admiring the child, he's almost forgotten about his wife.

"Nurse?"

The nurse returned to the room, "Yes Commander?"

"My wife... how is she?"

The small Bajoran's face became pensive, "She hasn't woken up yet. She has been unconscious since right before the baby was born, about five hours. The doctor is monitoring her closely."

"She will recover?"

"She experienced massive hemorrhaging and she went into cardiac arrest three times during the birth. She lost a lot of blood and is very weak. We are not certain how long it will be, but yes, she will recover."

The thought that Jadzia had not yet seen their child disturbed him greatly, "May we see her?"

Normally, she would have said no. But this was such a delicate situation, she knew to refuse him would be wrong, "Of course. Right this way."

The room was deathly still. Worf entered, holding his newborn in one arm, and gazing upon his wife. She was white as snow, and her skin was clammy. Her head hung lifelessly to the side. She hardly looked alive.

Cautiously he stood next to her. She had risked so much to have this child. Her health had been in grave danger the whole time, yet she pushed on. She'd wanted a child more than anything else, and now that the child was here, she could not even celebrate it.

Again, he looked down at the baby. She didn't have a name. Jadzia and Worf had been unable to come to a consensus on what the child should be called.

However, during the battle, a word popped into Worf's head. "Zaphirah," it was Trill for "Victory." As a way of impressing his wife, he'd been trying to teach himself her native language.

He looked at the child again, "Zaphirah," he whispered. Yes, this child was born at the height of a glorious victory over the Dominion, one that would never be forgotten. This child was borne of a victory achieved by a man and a woman who had overcome all odds and had fallen in love.

"Zaphirah," he said aloud, confirming it within himself.

"Victory?"

The soft whisper of his wife punctuated the air. Jadzia's eyes fluttered open. She could barely see, but she was fully aware of the world around her. Worf was holding their child. She couldn't help but smile.

"That is what we shall call her," he whispered.

Jadzia's eyes began to fade closed again. A deep sleep was washing over her. She placed a gentle hand on her baby's skin and sighed, "Zaphirah…"

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Dax laughed lightly, "Are you going to let her sleep?"

Worf looked down at his wife, "She can sleep in my arms, can she not?"

"Worf…"

He groaned. In his arms was their newborn daughter. Doctor Bashir let Jadzia come home, providing that she got some rest. Nurses stopped by every few hours to check on her.

"If you think it best, I will put her in her crib."

"I'll do it—" Jadzia motioned to stand up from the couch, but Worf stopped her.

"No, you are not supposed to stand. You stay there."

She stood anyway, "Worf, I have barely held my daughter one time. I can stand. I may be a little tired, but I feel fine. Women have babies every day. Now give her to me."

Reluctantly, Worf let his daughter leave his embrace and gave her to Jadzia. Dax gazed affectionately upon the sleeping child as she took her into the bedroom. They'd both fallen in love instantly, were smitten by the charms of the tiny infant. Zaphirah had brought a new light into their already bright and glowing marriage.

Once she had gone into the nursery, Worf heard the door chime sound.

"Enter!"

The door slid open and in stepped Chancellor Martok. As usual, he made his presence known in a loud, resounding way, "Worf! Where is that daughter of yours born on this glorious day? Only good things can come from a child born on the day of victory!"

Worf, usually happy to hear his voice, was a little annoyed by it. He would let no one, not even the Chancellor, disturb his daughter, "She is sleeping," he said evenly.

"My apologies. I will admit, I have had my fair share of the celebratory blood wine, you must excuse me. But, I come with more good news for you!"

Jadzia heard to voice and came into the living room, "Martok!" she greeted him with a smile.

He gave Worf's wife a dramatic, sweeping bow, "No one is more honored than the mother of a warrior. Though, you should have borne my brother a son!"

Dax tilted her head, "He already has a son."

"One can never have too many sons!"

Martok fell lazily on the couch. It was becoming obvious that he'd had more than his fair share of the blood wine.

"You said you had good news…"

"Oh yes!" Martok's loud voice came back, "As Chancellor of the mighty Klingon Empire, I need to keep those who are valuable to me at my side."

Jadzia slowly sat in the adjacent chair. Worf continued to stand, "As any wise ruler would."

"And, we all know that had it not been for you, I would not even be where I am. So, I have an offer for you. You, my friend, will finally get the opportunity to serve the empire, as you have always dreamed."

Worf felt his chest swell, "Chancellor?"

"I need an Ambassador to the Federation. We haven't had an official one since K'Ehleyr. I want the next one to be you. The Federation is a priceless ally to the Empire, and I need someone at my side who knows them, and yet knows the Klingon people. There is no one else in the universe like that… but you."

Worf's eyes widened. He was speechless. To serve the Empire… to live on Qo'noS with his own people… To be a member of the house of an honored and feared man like Martok… these were things he'd dreamed of as a boy.

"Yes! Yes, of course! How could I say no?"

Martok jumped up from his seat and embraced his best friend, "The Empire shall return to glory with men like you and I leading it on. A new day is dawning for the Klingon people!"

"I am honored that you would consider me for this… I owe so much to you…"

"I owe even more to you. Now, let us not behave as old women, but celebrate! Join my men for a barrel of blood wine in the name of the Empire."

Worf was about to follow him out of the room when he heard his wife's even and calm voice speak up.

"Worf and I have some things to discuss, Martok. He'll see you tomorrow."

Her tone was icy, annoyed, and even angry. Yet her lips wore a smile, albeit strained. Her arms rested lazily on the sides of the chair, and her hair hung free about her shoulders. She didn't share the joyous sentiment the men did.

Worf was thrown back into reality by the calm sound of her voice, "Yes, she is right," he said, stumbling over his words, "We will discuss this more tomorrow."

Martok nodded respectfully towards the woman of the house. He too could sense her mood. Wordlessly, he excused himself from their quarters.

Worf stood silently over her, not sure how to explain himself.

"So, I guess it wouldn't be my place to tell you what I think in all this, would it?"

"Of course it would. I know I should not have accepted so quickly, but you must understand what this means to me. You must," his voice was practically pleading.

"I do."

"How do you feel about this… about me moving to Qo'noS? I know it's a long way away, but I would not have to be there always. I could do a lot of my work from here, whenever possible."

It shocked her that his first assumption was for him to go and not take his family. Jadzia frowned, "I don't want us to be apart again, Worf. I'm tired of us not being together the way we should be. We've spent more time away from one another than together. I won't spend my entire marriage that way. I understood the war keeping us a part, but it's over now," she paused, "And we have a child."

Worf closed his eyes. How could he not think of that? He didn't want to be away from Zaphirah as she was being raised. He didn't want to make the same mistakes he made with Alexander. And Jadzia was his wife. How could he have been so selfish to think only of his own desires? He had a family now, and they came first.

Jadzia could see the distress in his eyes. She stroked his face gently, "Are you certain this is what you want? Deep Space Nine is our home. Do you really want to leave it? We met here, we married here, and our daughter was born here."

"You must understand," he began, "All my life, I have wanted to take my rightful place in the Empire. It is where I belong. It is where I have always belonged. I can think of nothing that will fulfill me more, Dax. Nothing."

She looked into his deep, emotional eyes. In them she saw a passion and fire she'd only seen once before- on their wedding day. So he loved this just as much as he loved her, she concluded. Jadzia frowned; on their wedding day, he told her that there was nothing more fulfilling than the love they shared.

His excitement frightened her. She felt her heart clench tightly in her chest. This was a part of Worf she always tried to complete, but never quite could. She knew his love for his people was strong, but their rejection always kept him away from the Homeworld, and with her. No, she could not let him go to Qo'noS alone. She felt a deep fear that if he went there, and that void in his life was finally filled, he may never return to her. Yet, if she held him here, he'd never forgive her. There was only one solution to this, and not at all an easy one.

"We'll will come with you," she whispered.

He looked up at her, stunned, "Jadzia—"

"You are my husband, and I love you. What you want, I want."

Worf was still amazed, "Jadzia, this is your home—"

"My home is with you," she gave a small smile, "Always will be."

He squeezed her hand, "I love you."

A tear fell from her eyes, "I love you too."

The door chime rang again. Jadzia gave a quiet, "Enter," to summon the visitor in.

This time it was Captain and Mrs. Sisko. Worf stood respectfully. Jadzia had been so happy when Ben contacted her on Bajor and told her he and Kasidy had gotten married. She knew how much he loved her, and she wanted everyone to be as happy as she and Worf were.

"We thought we'd stop by and see Zaphirah, if that's okay," Benjamin spoke up.

Dax smiled, "She's asleep right now."

"Then we won't wake her," Kasidy said, "We were our way to the holosuite. Everyone is meeting there to wish Miles farewell. They leave next week."

"Well, I definitely can't go, Doctor's orders," Jadzia said, "But Worf, if you'd like to—"

He shook his head, "No. Tonight, I shall be with my wife and daughter."

Jadzia looked up at Ben, "You know, the O'Brien's aren't the only ones leaving."

Sisko's sighed, "So, Martok has been here already, I see."

"Sir?" Worf asked.

"The Chancellor cleared it with me before he asked you. It will be hard to let go of such a good officer…"

Dax spoke up, "And a best friend."

Ben's eyes widened, "You're going too?"

"Well he is my husband," she said with an amused laugh, "We're both going."

Ben didn't know why he hadn't expected that, but he hadn't. The thought of his best friend being gone made him clutch his wife's hand tightly. So much had changed between he and the Old Man. For the first time since he'd met Jadzia Dax seven years ago, he really realized something; this woman was not Curzon. Of course, on a surface level, that was obvious. But deep down, he never felt his best friend and mentor had ever died. When Dax changed hosts, the relationship between he and Dax hadn't changed. Until now.

Sisko looked around the room. He was holding his wife's hand, who stood next to him. And Dax was holding her husband's hand, who stood over her. Dax and Ben had grown apart, and right now it was as clear as day. He'd married Kasidy without even asking Dax what she thought about it. She decided to move to the other side of the quadrant without a word to him. Years ago they always conferred even the simplest of decisions with one another. There was a time when the friendship they shared took precedence over any other relationship in their lives.

The change wasn't a bad one. It was different, startling at the first realization, but not bad. Jadzia noticed it too, long before Ben had. Right now, she could see in his eyes that he realized what was happening. Gripping Worf's hand for support, she stood, and went to her friend. Ben dropped Kasidy's hand and embraced Dax. He didn't realize that it would be for the last time. They held one another a long time.

"Oh, come on. You aren't going to miss me, are you?"

"Are you crazy? Of course I will!"

Dax laughed, "Always the sentimental one, Ben. Emotions are for women, not us men."

It was Ben's turn to laugh, "You're not a man anymore, Dax."

Her laugh heightened, "You'd think having a baby this morning would remind me of that wouldn't you? Oh, but you know me. Male, female, they're only details," she pulled back from him, "Anyway, you're all grown up now, Ben. You don't need me."

He grinned, "I'm older than you this time around."

"Where's my mind today! I think I need to sit down," wearily, she eased her body back into the chair.

"We'd better be going," Kasidy spoke up. Even though she rarely liked to admit it, Dax and Ben's relationship always made her a bit uneasy. Not because of jealousy, because she simply didn't always understand it.

"She's right. I'll stop by tomorrow to see that daughter of yours," Ben said.

Worf nodded, "Good night, Captain."

"Good night Commander. And congratulations."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The news hit Jadzia like a ton of bricks. She was lying in bed, the brown newborn child hugged closely to her breast. She was feeding Zaphirah, already nicknamed Zaphi by her mother, when Worf came in.

His face was flushed, and Jadzia could tell immediately that something was wrong.

"What is it Worf?"

He tried to find the words, tried to explain gently to his fragile wife that her best friend was missing, possibly dead.

"It's Captain Sisko."

Her heart clenched, "What is it?"

Worf sat on the edge of the bed, "Last night, after he left us and went to the holosuite... he was called down to Bajor."

"Bajor? By who? No, let me guess… the wormhole aliens."

He nodded, "No one is exactly sure why. He went to the legendary Fire Caves, and reports are coming from the surface that the Kai was found there dead. His DNA traces were found there, along with Cardassian traces. Dukat's."

She listened intensely, rocking her child more to comfort herself than Zaphi, "Go on."

"The search crews haven't found the Captain's body, or Dukat's."

"He's gone?" she whispered.

"No one knows."

Her first thought was of Kasidy. How terrible this must be for her, pregnant, newly married, and to have her husband missing. Dax didn't believe it. Still clutching Zaphi to her breast, she threw the covers back and stood, "I need to get down to the fire caves. I'm certain those search crews haven't a clue of what they're doing. They're probably trampling over key evidence as we speak," she walked the baby into the nursery and placed her in her crib. Worf watched as she came back into the bedroom and shuffled through her closets, "Goodness, I'm certain not a one of these uniforms will fit my wide hips. Oh well, I'll just have to wear civvies-"

"Dax."

"Yes?"

"You are not going to Bajor."

Her eyebrows raised, "Worf, please, not now. This is serious. Ben could be hurt, he needs me."

"You are still very ill, and you are not to leave our quarters, certainly not the station."

Right now, she wanted to hit her husband. Damn his over protectiveness.

"I'm not going to fight you on this," she said, taking her nightgown off and pulling a pair of dark pants on.

"You are not going," he repeated, even harsher.

"Dammit! I am not a child. I've had ten children now; I know how my body reacts after giving birth. And my best friend is down there, he could be dead. He'd do this for me, I have to do it for him."

This wasn't going to be easy. Worf didn't want to excite her too much; yet, he knew she wasn't going to yield easily.

"There are crews in the caves and all over the planet searching for him. The Captain wouldn't want you to risk you own-"

She put on her comm badge, "How would you know what he wanted? You were always too intimidated by him to even have a conversation with him. He's my friend and I'm going."

"What about Zaphirah?"

"You can stay here with her."

Jadzia tried to storm past Worf and leave the room, but she didn't even make it to the door. An overwhelming rush of dizziness and nausea took over her body, and she collapsed against the bedposts for support. Worf did not rush to her aid. Her hand clutched the posts tightly, and, breathlessly, she fell on the bed. She wasn't unconscious, but she was close to it.

Worf slowly sat next to her panting, heaving body, "Are you okay?"

"Damn you. You know I'm not okay."

He smiled, "I love that about you."

"What?" she asked thoroughly annoyed with him, and her weak body.

"The way you remain as fierce as ever, even when you're as weak as a newborn razor cat."

She managed a small laugh, "I can't even walk across the room, Worf."

"Lie here, I will go and find out as much about the Captain as I can, and I'll let you know everything."

"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo~

Later that day, Benjamin visited his wife, Kasidy, and with teary eyes, she explained everything to everyone. He was not lost, not dead, just gone… for now. He'd gone back to his home with the "wormhole aliens." It was unbelievable that he was gone, unbelievable that all this time he wasn't just the voice of the Prophets, he was one of them. When would he be back, no one knew for sure.

The next week was a whirlwind. So much happened so fast. Jadzia's health recovered quickly, and it seemed like the life that had been created on the Cardassian "spinning bicycle wheel" seven years ago was coming to a close. Miles, Keiko, Kirayoshi and Molly said farewell and headed to Earth. Sisko had floated into oblivion, or to be more specific, the "Celestial Temple." Odo bid his adieu and departed for the gamma quadrant. He was the hope of his people, and he'd finally be able to return to them and live among them.

And Jadzia was standing amidst a sea of gray Starfleet issue packing crates. All the things she'd accumulated over the past seven years, during her life on Deep Space Nine, were separated, sorted, packed and marked, "Qo'noS."

She sighed. She'd been doing that a lot lately. Dax tried to find the same exuberant joy her husband had. Every other word from him was about this move they were making, a split second decision that would change their lives.

Worf didn't seem to realize how hard it would be for a Trill and a Klingon to raise a family amongst people who were so unwelcoming to outsiders. Sure, she had once been Curzon Dax, an honored diplomat to the Homeworld. Yet even Curzon knew his place. Curzon knew that even though Klingons accepted him, he was not Klingon. Curzon never married a Klingon, never had a half Trill, half Klingon child, and never tried to live on Qo'noS.

The door to their home opened and Worf entered, with Martok.

"Are you ready to embark on the journey of your life?" Martok asked Dax briskly.

She smiled, "I'm always ready."

He laughed, "You are amazing, Jadzia Dax. I have never met an alien who would be willing to pack up and move to Qo'noS, of all places. Surely, there is Klingon blood in your veins. That is the only explanation."

Jadzia didn't dare mention how terrified she was of all this. Joined Trill don't feel the presence of each of their hosts equally, at all times. Right now, it seemed like Curzon, the host that got her into this mess, had abandoned her. She felt Tobin's presence, though, stronger than ever before. Dax felt unsure, afraid, alone and misunderstood. Where was Curzon? Where was the fearlessness, the defiance? That's what she needed.

The trip to the Klingon Homeworld was a blur. Jadzia gazed aimlessly out of the window while Worf went on and on about the house that they would be living in. It was the house Worf and Kurn were born in, property that had once belonged to his father, Mogh. Martok, in his "infinite kindness and endless generosity," had bought the land and the house from its present owner and gave it to Worf, his most trusted friend and advisor. Jadzia rolled her eyes. Worf should have married Martok.

The Empirical shuttle landed on an elaborate landing pad behind the main counsel building. This was Martok's first trip to the Homeworld as the new chancellor, and there were throngs of loyal citizens there to greet his arrival. Martok departed from the ship, followed by Worf. Jadzia stood to leave as well, baby in arms, but was stopped by one of the other passengers.

"Don't you dare," the woman said, with such a rage in her voice that Dax clutched Zaphi defensively.

"Excuse me?"

"You may be married to Ambassador Worf, brother of Martok, but you are not one of us. And yes, I know of Curzon Dax. He was great. You are nothing more than an alien that married into a great family. There is a distinct difference. No alien has the right to be received with honor. You will both wait until the ceremony is over, and then you transported to your home."

Jadzia wanted to say something in response, something sharp and witty, but she had no words. The woman, as well as the other crewman, Martok's entourage, left the ship and quickly shut the door. Dax peered out of the porthole at what was going on. First, Martok was greeted by his wife, now the Lady of the Empire, Sirella. Then he was greeted and received by the entire High Council. He presented Worf as his Ambassador and Chief Advisor. His entourage stood behind him for support. The crowds cheered. Finally, the eldest member of the High Council officially crowned him Chancellor and Supreme Ruler of the Empire. The crowds cheered more.

Dax sat alone on the ship and waited a full hour for the ceremony to be over. Crying was not something she did often, but, at this moment, she could not control it. Tears began to flow from her eyes. This was a mistake. A big mistake. She and her baby should not have come here. There was no place here for them. Why couldn't she talk to Worf about this? Because he wanted this more than anything. And she wanted Worf more than anything. What else was there for her to do but come, even if it meant being miserable?

The door to the small craft opened again. This time, Worf came in, looking confused.

"Jadzia? Why are you still inside?"

"It took you long enough to think about us, didn't it?"

He frowned, "You are crying."

"Yes I'm crying! I know it isn't a very Klingon thing to do, but, I'm doing it. You know why? Because I'm not Klingon."

Worf looked at her as if what she'd said shocked him, "You and Zaphirah will be much more comfortable when we get to our home; you'll see. Martok has given me permission to use the empirical shuttle to take us there," Worf seated himself at the helm, "We will be there shortly. I am certain you will love it; there is a crystal blue lake right outside of the house, so clear you can see straight to the bottom. The only things more beautiful…are your crystal blue eyes."

That brought a smile to her face, "You know, Zaphirah has blue eyes."

Worf's small smile faded, "You must be mistaken, I never noticed that."

"As much as you stare at her? I can't believe you never noticed."

"Klingons do not have blue eyes,"

"She's Trill as well, Worf."

Worf grunted, "One more thing to make her stand out," He mumbled.

"What did you say?" Jadzia asked.

"Nothing."

"No, I heard you. What did you mean by that?"

"Her Trill heritage will not help her here, it will only hurt and alienate her."

Jadzia felt as if she'd been slapped in the face, "I can't believe you'd say that!"

"It is the truth."

"You didn't seem to mind her 'Trill heritage' so much when you gave her a Trill name."

"That was before-" he stopped himself.

"Before you got yourself into a situation where it might not be convenient to be married to a Trill and have a 'half breed' daughter?"

"You are clouding my intentions. I simply do not want our daughter to face turmoil."

Dax left it alone. Normally, she never yielded in a disagreement, but this was different. Too much was at stake, too many serious things were hanging in the balance for her to simply have to have the last word. She sat in silence, and gazed out of the window. The small craft zoomed high above all the towering structures that made up the capital city. Jadzia allowed herself to relax and take in the sharp and poignant beauty of it all. The way the buildings soared towards the sky, the way the large, bright orange sun set in the distance; it was mesmerizing. Most people never took the time at marvel at the beauty of the Klingon Homeworld.

Worf began to lower the craft and Jadzia squinted her eyes to see ahead of them. They'd clearly left the city, and were in a more rural setting. She'd been gazing at the sun so long she didn't notice that all the dramatic buildings had faded away, and that they were about to arrive at their home.

Still no words were spoken between the two. Worf figured that Jadzia was so taken at the wonderment and excitement of everything around her that it left her speechless. He silently landed the craft and looked back at her. No, it wasn't wonderment on her face. Just a puzzling blankness. For the first time since he'd known her, she looked nervous. More than just nervous, unsure, possibly afraid. Worf watched her aimless gaze and sighed.

"Jadzia?"

She looked up.

He extended his hand towards hers, "We are home."

She smiled up at him and allowed him to help her stand. Zaphirah had fallen asleep in her arms. Worf helped her out of the vessel, and the heat hit Jadzia like a slap in the face.

She'd forgotten all about that. What was it that she'd once said to Worf, "Trills don't like the heat, and Klingons don't like the cold?"

Worf took her hand and led her to the front of the house. Inside there were men working, placing their belongings from Deep Space Nine, and restoring the house to the way it was thirty years ago, when Worf's father owned it.

"Qapla My Lord," A Klingon woman stood before Worf and his wife, her head bowed respectfully, "I am Kiroq, the governess of your house. I have been overseeing it's repair every since the Chancellor purchased it for you. I will also be the nursemaid to your daughter."

"Than you Governess. May I introduce my wife, Jadzia Dax."

Kiroq nodded solemnly, "My Lady."

"It's a pleasure to meet you."

"I am not here to be a pleasure. I am here to serve. I have sworn myself to his family, and I do not break my word," Kiroq turned to Worf, "Ambassador, I am certain that you do not remember much of your home. May I show you around?"

Worf's eyes widened with excitement, "Certainly!"

oOoOoOoOoOoOo~

"We're going to have to get a new bed."

"What is wrong with this one?" Worf asked as he performed his evening mok'bara exercises.

"It's not a bed at all! It's a metal slab. I only sleep on barracks when I have to. And in my home, I don't have to."

"Where on Qo'noS will you find any other type of bed?"

"I can have one sent here," she answered, brushing her hair back, "Perhaps from Risa. The beds there are made from the most delicate Risian goose feathers."

Worf opened his mouth to protest, but re-thought it, "If that will make you happy, then we will order a new bed."

Jadzia wasn't expecting that answer at all, "Well, since it's my happiness that we're trying to fulfill… I think this house could use a lot more color. It's like a tomb. Nothing but dark gray, brown and black."

"And what do you propose?"

"Some flowers, and paintings. Perhaps billowing curtains and aromatic candles."

"Like our home on the station?"

"Yes."

Again, he yielded, "I will have Kiroq help you with whatever you need."

She smiled. For the first time since they arrived on the planet, she really smiled. Her smile made Worf smile.

"Jadzia…"

She was gazing out of the window at the expanse of land they now owned, "Yes?"

Worf stood behind her and touched her arms, "Will you be happy here?"

Jadzia didn't say anything. Her body was very still.

Worf continued, "I know that coming here was my dream, and not yours. I want to make things as good for you as I can."

She turned to face him and put on another one of her forced smiles, "I'll be fine, Worf. Really, I will. This is what you've always wanted, and, I just want to make you happy."

He caressed her face, "You do."

"Then that's all I need."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The sound of crying awoke Jadzia late one night. She rubbed her eyes, and looked over to her husband, who was sleeping as soundly as usual. She stretched, pulled the blanket back and stood.

"Okay, honey, I'm coming," she said aloud as she wandered from her room to Zaphirah's. The hallways were dimly lit, just enough light to keep her from running into something.

"I knew you would come." Kiroq was standing in the hall between Jadzia and the baby's room.

Jadzia frowned, "She's crying, what else do I do?"

Kiroq replied, "You let her cry. We do not spoil our children by running to their every whim."

"She's only three weeks old!"

"Strong men and women are created from birth. You will let her cry, and tend to her in the morning."

"This is my child. I will tend to her, now," Jadzia tried to push past the woman, but Kiroq held her.

"You are a weak woman, and your child will be just as you are. The Ambassador will hear of this."

Jadzia was taken aback, "You're going to tell on me? I'm his wife, not his child!"

"You need to be taught how to behave. He is the one to attend to it."

Dax shook her head, "Look, you don't just work for Worf, you work for me as well, and I'm telling you to go back to bed and leave me and my baby alone."

Kiroq was clearly very angry, but she held it. Without another word, she turned and left.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

When Jadzia awoke the next morning, Worf was already up. Her back was killing her, but she reminded herself that the new bed would arrive next Monday. The first thing she did was put on a robe and go down the hall to her daughter's room. Zaphirah wasn't there. Jadzia felt her face get hot. Either Worf had gotten the baby up and dressed already, or that woman had her. Jadzia was willing to bet it was the latter.

She left the room in a fury and descended the long staircase to the lower floor. She saw lights and could hear voices coming from the dining room. Worf was there, seated at the table with Martok. She scanned the room. No Zaphirah.

"Where is Zaphi?"

Worf looked shocked, as if that were a dumb question, "Good morning. Our child is with her governess. Are you going to ignore the Chancellor?"

Jadzia glared at him. What was with the formal tone? She would ignore whomever she pleased, "I don't like that woman."

"Kiroq? She was the daughter of my governess when I was a boy, as well as my brother's."

"I know that…" she paused, "May I speak to you privately?"

Worf excused himself from the Chancellor and followed Jadzia into the foyer, "Dax, what is wrong?" his voiced was calmer much and filled with warmth.

"I don't know how this whole 'governess' thing is supposed to go, but I will not have some woman I do not know tell me how to raise my own child."

He sighed, "Kiroq came to me this morning, she was upset at your behavior last night"

"My beha—"

Just then, Kiroq came in, with Zaphirah in her arms, "Aah, so you do not sleep the entire day. Good morning, Jadzia."

"I ask that you speak to my wife with a bit more respect. She is the mistress of this house."

Kiroq gave Worf a condescending smile, "Of course, Ambassador. I understand that some people take offense easily. Not everyone is accustomed to the harsher ways of the Klingon people. I will be, nicer, if it will be more bearable for you, Mistress."

Jadzia was ready to jump out of her skin, and Worf sensed it. He spoke before his wife could, "Give the child to Jadzia. Dax, take the baby upstairs."

Jadzia looked wide eyed at Worf, "Why should—"

"Please."

She did as he requested, taking Zaphirah up the stairs. Dax did not go far, though. She had a feeling Worf wanted to say more to Kiroq, and wanted to hear exactly what was said.

"Governess, please, I need you to work with me."

"Who else would I be working with, Ambassador?"

His shoulders sagged, "My wife is not Klingon. While she knows a lot of our ways, there are many things she prefers to do differently. I would ask that you take that into consideration."

"May I speak honestly?"

He bristled again, "Of course."

"I became a servant to this family over 30 years ago. My mother was the head governess and your nursemaid, and I was her aid. I know what a proud tradition heralds from the House of Mogh. I also know the trouble it has seen. I knew your mother and father. They would be proud to know that their son had returned to his home and was making a place for himself in the Empire. But you know just as well as I do that they would be outraged to know that you brought an outsider into this home and tried to put her in the high position once held by your mother, an honorable Klingon woman. So forgive me Ambassador, if I have a hard time accepting your wife in the role you have tried to put her in."

Worf stood quietly. He maintained a stern look on his face, but Jadzia knew that he was pondering Kiroq's words. She clutched her child in her arms and waited for her husband's response. She waited for Worf to defend her and tell Kiroq that she was wrong.

"I have left the Chancellor waiting, and we have much to discuss." With a curt head nod, he excused himself from Kiroq and went back into the dining room, closing the door behind him.

Kiroq began to climb the stairs. Jadzia quickly slipped into Zaphirah's room so as not to appear to have been listening in. Within moments, the woman stood in the doorway.

"I know you heard every word." Kiroq said to Dax with an even, triumphant tone, "You need not deny it. I am certain you were listening. I am certain you heard how your husband accepted what I said to him and did not object to any of it. That is because it is true- every word. You do not belong here, and it will not take your husband long to realize that. Then he will remedy this unfortunate situation."

Kiroq turned and left. Dax swallowed several times. She looked down at her daughter, "She was wrong. Daddy loves both of us. He is just having a hard time right now. So much has changed for him. We just have to make sure he remembers why he loves us so much. That's all."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Martok's home was located in the capital city and had been the Chancellor's mansion for hundreds of years. The house was the epitome of Klingon architecture.

Worf spent many evenings with Martok at his home. Worf's home was located far from the city. It only took him a half hour in his shuttle, but he preferred to spend his evenings amongst his people in the midst of the city.

"I should have bought you a house here, seeing that you spend all of your time here."

Worf waved his hand, "No, no, I am glad to own my father's house. Besides, Jadzia likes the open atmosphere much better than being here."

"Yes, but you spend all of your time here. I am sure that does not please her." One of Martok's servants refilled their glasses with blood wine, "She must feel isolated being so far away from other people."

"She has Zaphirah. And when I am home she and I spend time together."

Martok leaned forward, "I am not one to bother himself with another man's affairs like a gossiping old woman… but one must ask himself why a man prefers to be away from his wife and child."

"I do not prefer being away from them."

"Then why are you always here?"

"I have never lived among my people as I have these past few months. I am an honored and respected man now. All of this pleases me very much, and I have you to thank."

Martok nodded, ending the conversation. He had known Worf, and Jadzia, for some time. He could definitely tell that the fire Worf had in his eyes for Jadzia did not seem to blaze as brightly as it once did. Martok meant what he said; he was not one to meddle in another man's affairs. But Worf was like a brother to him, and at times more like a son. After all, Martok was older than Worf and had children his age.

Sirella was away for the evening, and the house servants served dinner to Martok and Worf. Halfway through the live gagh and blood wine the two men heard the main entry door open and close forcefully. Boots stamped through the hall and into the dining room.

"Father!"

Martok stood, wearing a large grin, "D'Lina! So, my wayward daughter has returned!"

Worf looked on a little perplexed. Martok had only spoken of his son Drex, whom Worf first met in less than favorable circumstances.

"I think wayward is a little harsh, don't you?" She said as she embraced her father. D'Lina stood tall, almost meeting her father eye to eye. Her hair was jet black and hung down to her waist, heavy and thick in tight ringlets. Her skin was much darker than either of her parents, and the pierce of her coal black eyes sent shivers through Worf.

"So, who is this?"

Worf stood, extending his arm to her, "Worf… I am a good friend of your fathers'."

D'Lina gripped his arm in greeting, "Oh yes! Father can hardly stop talking about you. So he finally convinced you to leave Starfleet and join your own kind?"

Her tone caught Worf off guard, but he has to remind himself that he was not accustomed to Klingon women, "I found his offer too good to pass up. I have wanted to return to Qo'noS my entire life."

She pulled up a chair and sat. Word found his eyes drifting to her exposed, very full cleavage, "Frankly Worf I don't see how a Klingon could spend his life serving the Federation."

"Well… humans raised me after my parents were killed. It was all I knew."

She nodded, and then turned to her father, "So, Chancellor, to what do I owe this invitation? You know I prefer to stay out of the capital city as much as I can."

Martok set back, "Yes, I know. And I would not have called you away except for needing your help. This actually involves you as well, Mr. Worf."

"Me?"

"D'Lina lives outside of the city provinces, away from the politics and business-"

"I live among the true Klingons, the ones who hunt their own food, solve disputes in personal battle and still know what true honor is," she said, almost as a challenge to her father.

Martok bristled, "We differ on our views, but D'Lina has been an educator in the province of Holtapa for many years and is very respected in her community."

Worf's interest was piqued, "What do you teach?"

"I am a traditionalist, and I teach in the spirit of our forefathers. I educate our children about what it means to be Klingon. I educate them on our ways, our history, our legacy, and our presence among other species."

"I would like the two of your to work together. I want to expand on what D'Lina does and bring it into the cities, and to other provinces. I agree with you, our people are losing sight of who we are. Now that the Dominion war is over, my priority is to look within the empire and make us all the best Klingons we can be. You, Mr. Worf, are going to help her."

"But, Chancellor, shouldn't this be handled by your education advisor?"

"Normally yes, but frankly, I think you would greatly benefit from working closely with your people, and I do not mean to offend you, but you are relatively new to our ways."

"With all due respect-"

"Yes, yes, Worf, I know. You have *read* and *studied* about our culture, but have never really *lived* it. This is your chance. If you are to represent the Klingon people to the universe, you need to know about us firsthand."

Worf nodded.

D'Lina spoke up, "Father, I am not one to work with a partner."

"Look at him as a…. student. A student with access to the resources you'll need to train other teachers and reach our young people, with the full backing of the Chancellor. In my address to the people, I vowed to a return to Klingon values and interests as a top priority for the Empire. You would not have me go back on that, would you?"

She gave him a sly smile, "Of course not, Father."

"Good! Now, I have had the servants set up a room for you-"

She put her hand up, "Oh no. I will find lodging in the city."

"Fair enough."

A woman entered the dining room, "Excuse me Chancellor…"

"Yes?"

"There is a communiqué for Ambassador Worf from his wife."

Worf's face got hot, and he spoke up, "Tell her I will be home shortly," he said quickly. Worf stood, "I must go, Chancellor."

Martok stood as well, "I will show you out."

Worf turned to D'Lina, "I am honored to have met you."

She bowed her head respectfully, "The honor was mine. I look forward to working together."

Worf and Martok left the dining room and entered the large foyer. The ceiling was at least 10 meters high, with Klingon sculptures adorning the entire height, "So, what do you think?"

"I wish you had told me about this beforehand, sir."

Martok laughed, "Then I would not have had the chance to see that look on your face when D'Lina entered the room!"

That made Worf uneasy, "I am a married man, Chance-"

"Of course you are! There is nothing wrong with looking, is there? D'Lina is a fine woman, deeply rooted in Klingon tradition and culture. I thought you would benefit from working with her. You are to be my Ambassador to one of our most valuable allies, the Federation. You know of their ways, you lived your whole life among them. Now, learn of our ways. Then you will be a good representative. And D'Lina is the best person on the planet to teach you."

Worf understood and agreed with Martok. His knowledge of being a Klingon came mostly from stories and books, very little of his life had been spent with his own kind, "I agree."

"Good! Now, how about you bring that beautiful wife and daughter of yours with you the next time you visit. Sirella has been eager to teach Jadzia a few Klingon dishes, and you know what a wonderful cook she is."

"I… I will."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

It didn't take Worf long to get home in his small shuttle. When he did, he found Jadzia and Zaphirah in their bedroom. She was gently rocking the baby in the chair by the window as she fed her.

Worf's mood was evident the moment he entered, "You did not have to call for me. I am not a child."

Jadzia turned, startled to hear his voice, "Excuse me?"

"Tonight. You called for me while I was with Martok."

"And that is a crime?"

"We were discussing some very important business. It was embarrassing."

She stood, keeping her voice low because Zaphi had fallen asleep on her arms, "Worf, I have barely seen you all week, I wanted to know when you were coming home."

"I have important business in the capital and I get home when I can."

"Wait here…" she crossed the hall and put the baby to bed. When she returned, she was ready to tell her husband exactly what was on her mind.

"I think you and I need to talk," Jadzia said, with her arms crossed firmly over her chest, "We have been here for two months, and I am beginning not to recognize you. You are never here-"

"When we lived on DS9 we both worked heavy schedules that made it hard to find time to see one another," he pointed out.

"The difference then was, at least you tried. Here, it's as if you do everything you can to be away from here. You and I have spent no time together since we moved. I was hoping this would be our chance to finally have a normal relationship. Or is this what a normal relationship with you is like?"

"I am in a very important and honored position. I have to do whatever I can to make a good name for myself here. I am an outsider to Klingons, and I have to prove myself. If it means that I spend a lot of time away from home making new acquaintances and establishing myself then so be it."

"And not a word about your family?"

"I am doing what I am doing for my family," he thought a moment, "In fact, I think I want to have Alexander come here," Worf paced the room, "Yes, yes, that is what I will do. I will have my son by my side; it is time. He would benefit greatly from working with me, his military career is not doing too well, you know. I always felt he'd be a better diplomat than a soldier," Worf began dressing for bed, talking more to himself than to Jadzia, "I will contact his captain tomorrow and have him transferred planet-side immediately. Yes."

Worf seemed very pleased with himself, and Jadzia realized that he had cleverly gotten off topic altogether. They got into bed together and she didn't bring up the subject again. Worf curled his body against hers.

"I love you," he whispered, gently kissing her neck as he did.

She sighed, "I love you too."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The mornings on Qo'noS were always lovely. Jadzia couldn't deny that. She enjoyed taking Zaphi on walks as the sun came up. The Klingon sun was huge; it almost filled the sky and was three times the size of Earth's, and four times that of Trill's sun. Of course, the planet was a lot farther away from its giant sun than the other two planets were from theirs, but, it still caused temperatures on Qo'noS to rise. A day of 32 degrees was common, and Jadzia chose to only take walks in the morning, before temperatures began to rise.

She often took those walks alone. She and her daughter spent a lot to time alone. Jadzia didn't quite know what to think of that. Her husband had changed, and it was not for the better in her opinion. Jadzia had come here to the Klingon Homeworld to please him; it had always been his dream to live among his people. She had been a fair "substitute" for that dream while he was in Starfleet; having a rich knowledge of Klingon history and culture, as well as having been revered by Klingons in her former life.

Jadzia could not help but think that now that Worf had his dream, she was no longer enough. He wanted the entire dream, which included a Klingon wife and Klingon children. Alexander was now living with them, his father had given him a position at the consulate with him

And Worf had a new partner. This was not part of the good things about their new home. Jadzia had never been the jealous type, but that was attributed to the fact that she never had a reason to be jealous. D'Lina, Martok's daughter make it clear that she did not approve of Worf and his Starfleet ways or his Starfleet wife. But, she would work with him if her father ordered it.

She, on the other hand, fascinated Worf. She was everything he had dreamt about in his quintessential Klingon woman. D'Lina was deeply rooted in traditional ways of life for Klingons. She was only temporarily living in the city while working with Worf. Her home was on the countryside in the Holtapa province. She believed in the old, simple ways of Klingon life, where survival and honor was the way of things, not politics and wealth.

Which was why she had been brought to the capital city. Martok wanted her influence to spread. Though he wasn't quite as radical as she and did not want to return to a farm life for everyone, he did feel that Klingons needed to get back to being Klingons. So much had happened to take the people away from their original ways. They were forming alliances, inviting outsiders into their great houses, and even marrying outside of their own people. While Martok respected and admired Jadzia, and agreed that for Worf she was a good mate, things were different now. He was no longer the "Starfleet Klingon."

But what was done was done. Martok had given Worf his blessing and even invited Jadzia to join their house. Which meant that their children, half- breeds, would be member of a great house as well. The greatest house of them all; the Chancellor's house.

Yes, things were very different from when Worf and Jadzia married, on this they all agreed. What to do about it, no one really knew.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

"I think it is time that we had a reception."

Jadzia looked down the long dining room table at her husband. They were eating in the formal dining room, where they had most of their meals in what Jadzia thought was the most ostentatious room in their ostentatious house.

"What type of reception?" She asked warily.

"D'Lina and I are working on a very important project for the Homeworld and we would like to make our position known. Plus, there are many important people that Martok feels I need to become acquainted with."

"Klingon aristocracy is the most complex that I have ever encountered," she said with a smirk. While Klingons most definitely had an aristocracy, they truly despised that point being brought to light.

"Aristocrats are not honorable," Worf said defiantly, "A person's station is not judged by wealth. We are not Ferengi."

She withdrew from the argument before it even began, "So, when do you want to have this shindig?"

"Next week," his voice was lighter. "I will have D'Lina come here and make sure that our home is well prepared. It will be a—"

"D'Lina?"

Worf's eyes widened in question, "Why of course. She has been my assistant and teacher in the finest complexities of true Klingon culture. I thought that I was well versed, but she has taught me things that only someone who has lived here would know and understand, not just someone who had read about it and wished for it."

"This is our home Worf, I think that you and I should be the one to prepare it."

Worf had not anticipated this argument, "It is not that you are not capable, Jadzia. But, the purpose of this reception is to foster the start of our new movement. We need to show as much Klingon style and lore as possible. Now that the Dominion war is over, Klingons need to begin to look inward. Too much outside influence has come over our people. Klingons need to focus on Klingons. We do not adapt and accept others, we conquer."

Jadzia looked him square in the eyes, "So where does that leave your daughter and I?"

Worf was not prepared for that, "You are my wife, you will be by my side, of course. And she is our child, a proud Klingon child."

"That s just it Worf! She is not just Klingon, and I do not expect her to grow up hating her Trill heritage. It is just as important as—"

"I thought we discussed this. Being Trill will do her no good here."

"So what do you plan to do? Have her spots removed? Cause she has them! Are you going to have her skin darkened? Or get ridge implants to make her look more Klingon? And what about me? I am not Klingon at all—"

"You are the great Curzon Dax, people admire and respect—"

"No!" Jadzia stood and slammed her fists on the table, "I am NOT Curzon Dax. I am Jadzia Dax. Curzon is dead. I am a woman with his memories and I am not here to appease you or all your so-called Klingon friends. I have my own life."

"You have never spoken that way before"

"Every since we got here, it seems you are embarrassed of the fact that I am not Klingon, and you make up for that by bringing up 'Curzon the Great.' You didn't marry Curzon; you married me. What happened to the man I fell in love with on DS9? The wonderful man who appreciated me for me and didn't care what other Klingons thought?"

Now Worf was getting upset, "I am FAR better than I ever was then. I was no one then."

"You were a Starfleet Commander!"

"Now I have everything I ever dreamed of. I am a true Klingon now. I am honored and admired and I am part of a great house. Being a Starfleet Commander pales in comparison to that. Why can you not be happy for me? Is that not what a wife should do?"

"You are not as honored and admired as you think, COMMANDER. You are Martok's lackey and no one on this planet would give a damn about you if it weren't for him. You are throwing away everything good in your life and reaching for a dream you will never have!"

Worf narrowed his eyes at her and his voice was low, "If I am throwing anything away, it is because I do not need it. The things that were right for me before may not be right for who I am now."

Jadzia's heart clenched. She did not need and explanation to know what he meant. She wanted to cry, but would not dare show him how much he hurt her. Slowly, she straightened her back and squared her shoulders. Her voice was calm and definite.

"Alright then. If that is how you feel. I will not stand in the way of your dreams."

She left the dining room and headed up the stairs.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

D'Lina arrived the next day, padd in hand, with an assistant of her own. She entered the house without an invitation and was greeted by Kiroq.

"It is good to have you here, D'Lina. We have been waiting for you. I am eager to have a Klingon woman in charge, if only for a few days."

D'Lina gave a small smile, "I thank you for that," he smile became serious, "Where is the woman?"

Kiroq knew she was referring to Jadzia, "The Mistress is upstairs with the child. She and Worf are not on good terms at present."

"Forgive me for saying, but, I think the sooner he remedies himself of that situation the better. I trust my father's judgment, however I do think he has made a mistake by choosing someone so un-Klingon to hold this reception."

"I agree. I am hoping you can influence him to make some changes."

"I will try. Worf could be an excellent Klingon if he would only embrace his own people and leave the outsiders outside."

Jadzia did not get upset at the women's words, though she could hear them as she was packing upstairs. She already knew that was how each of them felt. She also knew that they had a much stronger influence on her husband than she did anymore. What they wanted from him, they would get.

Zaphirah was sitting up on the bed clapping her hands aimlessly. Jadzia smiled at her daughter, six months old now. Jadzia was often amazed at the things she could do at such a young age. Klingon children developed much faster than the average humanoid and Zaphirah had definitely taken on that trait.

Jadzia didn't pack a lot of things for the two of them. The idea of taking all her things was a little too permanent for her.

"Jadzia?"

She looked up startled. Alexander was standing in the doorway, looking puzzled at his stepmother.

"Alexander, shouldn't you be in the city with your father?"

He disregarded that, "What are you doing?"

Jadzia sighed, "Packing."

He didn't seem surprised, "You are leaving," he stated.

"Yes."

"My father has done it again."

Jadzia wore a question on her face, "What do you mean?"

"He gets so damned insistent on being a 'Klingon' that it drives away the ones he loves. It's why he and my mother were never married. It's why it has taken so much for he and I to come to have a relationship. And now it is coming between the two of you."

Jadzia liked her stepson very much. She knew that if there was anyone who empathized with her situation, it was he, "You are a smart young man."

"I hate to see you and the baby go," he began, "But I do understand. I knew it must be hard on you, living here and all. And I noticed that he has not been as helpful as he could be."

Jadzia could read his eyes, "It has not been easy on you either. Every since you joined the military things have not come easily to you."

"Nothing has every come easily to me. And though I respect my father, he has never been much help. He wants a Klingon son to be everything that he was not. That is why I joined up two years ago. But I fear my talents as a soldier have never come close to his, let alone surpassed. I never lived among Klingons until two years ago. Going from Earth to a Klingon battleship is no walk in the park, you know?" He laughed lightly, "And having a name like 'Alexander' doesn't help either."

Jadzia sat next to Alexander, "What is it that you want?"

His eyes widened. No one had ever asked him that, "To be somewhere where I can be respected for who I am. *All* of who I am. And do the things I wish to do without worrying about fitting a tradition or role."

"When your father had you transferred here from your ship, did he ask you first?"

Alexander shook his head, "No. I just got orders that I would be working in the consulate. My father does have the authority to do that, you know."

"I'm going back to Deep Space Nine and I'm taking Zaphirah. You could come along, if you'd like. You are able to make your own decisions, I know. But I think that starting a life of your own someplace new would be good for you."

"Jadzia… I… Father would be furious if we all left him."

"Maybe that is what he needs. Maybe it's time Worf learned to appreciate the people in his life. All of them."

"You go, I will stay here. Father will need someone to be here for him when he realizes you have left," he smirked.

She nodded, "Okay."

"When he asks, should I tell him where you have gone?"

Jadzia was leaving with the full intention, or hope, that Worf would come after her. Yet, she didn't want that intention to be too obvious, "If he really wants to find me, he will know where."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

D'Lina and Kiroq didn't even notice when Jadzia and the baby left the house with bags slung over her shoulder. Or perhaps if they did notice, they didn't care. Or were happy to see her go and didn't want to show it, lest she stay in defiance.

When Worf came home that evening, even he didn't notice immediately. He was so thoroughly impressed with the way D'Lina had transformed his home into a Klingon Manor, he could hardly contain himself.

He did take D'Lina to the side and quietly ask her, "Was my wife very upset about you removing her paintings and other things? I imagine she would have been, but I do understand… This needs to look like a Klingon home for tomorrow night.

D'Lina gave him an offhanded reply, "I haven't seen you wife, Ambassador. No, wait, I have. She left early this morning with your daughter. By the look of it, she was planning and extended trip. She has not returned."

She took pleasure in that. She also took pleasure in the look on Worf's face as a result. It wasn't a look of worry or concern, but anger, "Dammit Jadzia…" Worf quickly composed himself, "Excuse me D'Lina."

D'Lina watched Worf ascend the stairs quickly and smiled. Her problem had solved itself.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Worf entered his bedroom and was furious. Jadzia's drawers were empty. Some of her things were still there, but the most important things were not. He crossed the hall to his daughter's room, and her things were gone as well. Worf logged onto the computer console.

"Show me all scheduled ship departures for today," he barked.

A monotonous Klingon voice replied, "Please indicate a destination."

Worf thought a moment. Would she have gone to Trill? No, Jadzia hadn't been there in years, "Bajoran Sector," he said, knowing immediately where she would have went.

The voice replied, "There has been two private transport departures and three military departures."

"Is a passenger Jadzia Dax scheduled on the private departures?"

A pause, "Negative."

Worf frowned, "Is a passenger Jadzia Dax scheduled on the military departures?"

Another pause, "Affirmative. Jadzia Dax departed on the military ship Rotarran at 9:00 hours."

Worf was fuming, "How did she get passage on the Rotarran?"

The computer was confused, "Please restate query."

Worf turned off the console. Jadzia was headed for the Bajoran sector, to Deep Space Nine no doubt. But how, and why, was she on a military ship? Here, she was just a civilian and would need military clearance for that. And the Rotarran of all ships? That was Martok's old vessel.

Worf reactivated the console; "Establish a communiqué with Chancellor Martok."

"Clearance code required."

Worf entered his code. Within moments, Martok was on the screen,

"Worf! What can I do for you, brother?"

"Who gave Jadzia military clearance to leave Qo'noS on a military ship?" Martok paused, and his hesitation was all Worf needed, "Why?" Worf demanded.

"She was unhappy here. Had you been a better husband, you would have known that. You should have known that from the moment you decided to bring her here. When I offered you this job, I never dreamed you would bring her here."

Worf wasn't about to own up to his part in all this, "Did you tell her to leave me?"

Martok was insulted, but hid it, "No Worf. She came to me this morning. All the passenger ships to the Bajoran Sector were booked and she wanted to leave before the reception tomorrow. She asked for me to give her clearance on a military ship."

"When will she be returning?"

Martok could not believe how naïve his friend was being, "Worf, do you not understand? Can't you tell that your wife has left you?"

Hearing the words spoken aloud make them even more enraging. His jaw muscles worked frantically under his skin as he grated his teeth, and a low growl rose in this throat.

"Perhaps this was best," Martok offered.

Worf was still silent.

"She was not happy here. She did not fit here. Everyone knew that."

Everyone, but me, Worf thought.

"I have to go now," Worf said quietly.

"Qapla." Martok ended the transmission.

Just as Martok's face vanished from the screen, Worf spotted his son.

"Alexander!"

Alexander was dreading this moment, but knew it would be unavoidable, "Yes Father?"

"What do you know about Jadzia? Has she said anything to you?"

"I saw her this morning. She was packing to leave, with Zaphi."

"And you did not stop her!"

"Why would I have stopped her? You know why she left; you have done nothing to make her feel wanted or loved since you got here. Why should she stay? What was here for her, besides a husband who did not honor her?"

Alexander had never spoken to his father like that and did not quite know what to expect. He could see the anger rising inside of Worf, but he stood his ground.

"You do not know what you are speaking of." Worf said quietly.

"I don't? Was it not the same with my mother? She wasn't 'Klingon enough' for you?"

The mention of K'Ehleyr sent Worf reeling, "You do NOT know anything about that!"

"I may not remember much, but I remember some things. I remember my mother crying because the man she loved would not love her as she was. You would only love her if she became what you wanted. I remember her desperately keeping me from you for fear you would treat me that same way," he paused, and stepped out on a limb, "And you have. And now to Jadzia as well."

Worf's anger was at its breaking point, but he tried his best to quell it. Too much was going on. D'Lina and Kiroq were just at the bottom of the stairs and within 12 hours his home would be filled with all the most important people on Qo'noS. He could not let this get in the way of what he was about to achieve. He was about to be recognized by his people. Not humans, not Starfleet, but Klingons. And if Jadzia, or even, his son, could not appreciate that, then that was too bad.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

When Jadzia got to Deep Space Nine, things looked different. She felt as if many years, instead of months, had passed since she was last here.

She realized why. She was looking at the station through different eyes. She was a civilian, a mother with her six month old in her arms. She unsure of what was ahead. She had just left her husband without saying a word, and returned to her home, without telling anyone she was coming.

The Klingon vessel made a rendezvous with a small passenger ship that was headed for the station. She and Zaphi transported to that ship. Now, the passengers were getting off. Families were being reunited. Jadzia watched as a husband ran to embrace his wife and small son. He wore a Starfleet uniform. She didn't recognize him, yet the family reunion made her heart ache. She gripped her baby tighter and headed for the promenade.

She had only been into this office twice. First, when she was first assigned to Deep Space Nine to get her suite assignment. Second when she and Worf got married and decided they wanted to move to larger quarters.

The office was empty. A Bajoran woman sat behind a desk aimlessly looking at her computer console.

"Excuse me… hi… um… I need quarters."

Jadzia was never known to be quiet or timid, but that is how she felt right now.

The woman looked up, "When did you put in your request ma'am?"

"Request? I didn't put in a—"

"Then I am sorry. The station has become popular again with the end of the war. We have a waiting list for civilian living quarters. Now, if you would like to be put on the waiting list, all I need is your thumbprint so that we can access your credit account for payment."

"Payment?"

The woman looked at her strangely, "Trill is apart of the Federation's Universal Credit System. It is how people pay for things—"

"I know that," Jadzia gathered her bearings. She never had to pay for quarters before, "I am a Starfleet Officer."

"Oh, well, why didn't you say that! Just give me the authorization code for your transfer to service on Deep Space Nine and I can assign you officer quarters."

"I am not in active service at the moment and I don't have an assignment."

The woman was getting annoyed now, "Then you are a civilian. You will have to get on the waiting list. The average payment is 50 credits a month for standard quarters. Those with views and larger rooms are of course more expensive…"

Jadzia shifted Zaphirah in her arms. She had fallen asleep and was making her mother's arm numb, "How long is the wait?"

"For standard quarters… 2 months."

This was getting her nowhere and fast. Jadzia thought for a moment, "I'll be back."

She left the office with Zaphirah snoring softly on her shoulder. She walked quickly to the lift. Dax hadn't wanted to involve her friends in this, but it was obvious that if she wanted a place to sleep tonight, she would have to enlist some help from the Station's Commander.

"Ops" she commanded.

The computer responded, "Voiceprint authorization not recognized. Operations Level access denied.

"Uuggghhh!" she groaned aloud. She'd forgotten that since she was no longer an active duty office on the station, she couldn't just come and go as she pleased. And she didn't have a comm badge and the stations computer would not give a civilian communication access to ops.

She stepped off of the lift and headed towards the bar. It was just as busy as she remembered. And behind the bar serving drink after drink was her favorite Ferengi.

"Quark!" she called to him over the commotion.

He turned and his eyes widened, "Jadzia! What in the world are you doing here?"

"I need to get talk to Kira."

"So just go on up to ops."

"You know I am a civilian now. I can't just waltz up there. I tried," she paused, "Come to think of it, how is it that you can just go anywhere on the station? You are a civilian too."

He smiled, "I have connections. Come on, I'll take you to her."

Quark didn't need an explanation to know what was going on. Jadzia had finally left that Klingon brute. Why else would she be here with her baby, unannounced, without Worf, and needing a place to live?

The rode up to ops in silence until Quark asked her, "So are you back home for good."

Jadzia didn't hesitate, "Yes."

"And your husband?"

She shot him a look that shut him up fast, "Okay, okay, I won't ask. But a refusal to answer always leads a person to think the worse… "

The lift arrived in ops and Jadzia sighed. The memories flooded back as she looked around. All the faces were new, but the feeling was the same. She glanced to the station that was once Worf's. For the first time since she left early this morning, she felt a longing for him. But not for the man he had become. For that man that used to work at that station.

Jadzia walked forward slowly, proceeding towards Ben's office. Well, it wasn't Ben's anymore, she reminded herself. It was Colonel Kira's.

The door slid open and Kira was sitting at Sisko's desk, her feet resting on the top. She was reading a padd.

"Nerys."

Kira looked up and almost fell out of her chair, "Jadzia!" she stood and came around the desk to her friend, "My goodness, what are you doing here? Oh and the baby is so big now!" Kira outstretched her arms and held Zaphirah, who was still asleep.

"What are you doing here? Did Worf come with you? How long are you staying? This place just hasn't been the same since everyone left."

Jadzia watched Kira pace back and forth gently rocking and cooing at her daughter. She didn't know where to being. She told Kira just that, "I don't know where to begin."

Kira looked up at her and away from the baby, "What do you mean? Is something wrong?" It never occurred to Kira for a moment that Jadzia wasn't here on good terms. Kira looked out of her office door and into ops, "Where is Worf?"

"He is on Qo'noS."

She frowned, "And you are here?"

"Yes."

Kira knew there was definitely trouble in paradise. And from the way Jadzia looked, he didn't want to go into it right now. Kira had never seen her friend looked so… uncertain. Jadzia was always in control, always poised and in command of what was going on. Yet now, she looked confused, scared, and unsure.

"You two will need a place to stay, then," Kira said, "The station has really been filling up since the war ended. Plus, many Bajorans want to be here in case the Emissary shows himself."

That made Jadzia smiled, "Has anyone seen him?"

Kira shook her head, "No. But, he will return. He has to, his wife is due soon."

Jadzia had almost forgotten about Kasidy, "How is she?"

"She misses him. But she is well. She doesn't really understand; none of us do. But she is well. As is Jake. He has been on Bajor for the past few months."

"I don't plan on going back to the Homeworld."

That shocked Kira, but she hid it, "Okay. I see. Well, I will be honest with you. Starfleet has been on my back to find a good pilot for the Defiant. It has been in dock since the war ended. And I don't have a senior science officer. Many of the officers have left the station to go back to Earth or wherever their homes may be. We haven't been able to find capable officers, and we have many vacancies, especially in our senior staff. This still is the edge of the galaxy, you know. No one in Starfleet wants to live out here. It's eight years ago all over again. This must be what the Captain when through when he as staffing this place."

Jadzia smiled, "I'd be willing to apply."

Kira smiled back, "And I'd be more than willing to hire you. I hate to admit it, but I need some help keeping this place together. How Sisko managed to balance Bajoran and Starfleet and make it work has been a little beyond me."

"What about your first officer?"

"What first officer?" Kira handed Zaphirah back to Dax, "I haven't gotten one yet. I could easily appoint a Bajoran to the position, but Starfleet wants one if its own. Which is fine, if they would ever assign me one!"

"You don't have a first officer?"

She shook her head, "Would you consider a switch to command?"

"Worf would have made a good first officer."

The room went silent. Kira was thinking the same thing, but didn't want to say it. Jadzia didn't know why she said what she just did. No, she did know. Because she truly believed her husband would make a good first officer. He was a little too headstrong to be a captain, but had all the qualities of an excellent right-hand man. She wanted him to be first officer of DS9. She wanted him here with her.

Kira proceeded cautiously, "I don't want to pry, really. But, does Worf know you are here?"

"By now, he has probably figured it out. That is, if he was able to take a moment from being a big important Klingon."

Kira changed the subject, "Let's get you two settled in, and I will send a transmission to Starfleet letting them know we finally have a Science Officer again."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Worf's chest set out with pride. This had to be the best day of his life. He could think of nothing better. His home was filled with all the most important and prominent Klingons. He'd hired an entire staff of extra servants to keep everyone's glass a blood wine full and their plate of gagh piled high. The raucous laughter from the men was heartwarming, as was the rowdy chatter from the women.

He glimpsed across the room, towards the door. More people were arriving, and D'Lina stood there, giving them the traditional greeting and welcoming them in. She looked back at him and their eyes met. She lowered her eyes girlishly. Her powerful presence made it easy to forget her youth; she was at least ten years younger than Worf.

Martok had yet to arrive. Worf frowned, wondering where the Chancellor could possibly be. He walked toward D'Lina.

"D'Lina, has your father arrived?"

"He sends his apologies. He and my mother will not be attending."

"Why?" Worf almost panicked.

"You know the unrest in the southern provinces has gotten worse. He fears civil war if something is not done to quell the situation," she moved closer to him, to reassure him, "Everything will be fine."

Worf took a deep breath, "I am certain of that."

"Come, we should address our guests."

Worf didn't even notice the way she took the liberty of saying "our guests" as if she were the lady of the house.

D'Lina stood up on the stairs in the foyer and raised her voice over the crowd, "Friends," she said loudly, her hands up to gather their attention. She continued, "Thank you for coming. Ambassador Worf and myself welcome your support for what we would like to begin. You were all asked here to, foremost, meet the newest member of the Klingon consulate, the Ambassador to the Federation, Mr. Worf. Secondly, to learn more about something we would like each of you to take back to your provinces."

"Klingons have spent much time cultivating our diplomacies and relationships with other worlds," D'Lina entranced Worf as she spoke. He stood next to her on the stairs as she continued speaking. "And that has improved trade and security. Our recent collaboration with the Federation led to victory against the Dominion. However," D'Lina paused to glance at Worf before finishing, "My father the Chancellor stands with me on this. We have allowed too much foreign influence in our culture. Klingons are losing sight of who we are and what we stand for. We are, first and foremost, warriors and conquerors. Now in this peacetime, we must put our efforts toward returning to our principles and ideals. We are Klingons, and there is no room for any outsiders and their influence in that."

The crowd buzzed for a moment, until a woman spoke up, "What exactly does that mean? We have ambassadors for just about every planet in the solar system. Should they be recalled?"

Worf answered, "Not at all. I myself am the ambassador to our most favorable ally, the Federation. This proposal is more a personal than official movement. We must educate our children about our ways. They should be raised as Klingons through and through. We should do our best to keep out outside influence as far as our culture and convictions."

Another voice spoke up, this time a man's, "I mean no disrespect to you, D'Lina. You are the Chancellor's daughter and an honorable Klingon woman. But who are you, Worf, to tell us what is best for Klingon people? You, who have only lived among your own people less than a year!"

Worf bristled, but before he could speak up, another person spoke, "Don't you yourself have a human wife? And two children, neither one being fully Klingon!"

D'Lina had a feeling this would happen, and was prepared. Worf looked to her helplessly, not knowing what to say. She spoke up for him, "You are right. However, the Ambassador is the first to make changes in his life so that he too can return to his true heritage. Has he not left Starfleet to live here among us? He has taken the home that was his father's many years ago. And you are right. His wife is not human. He married her before he came to know his true Klingon self. But, look around! She is not here! She and her child left this place, knowing it was not made for outsiders."

D'Lina's speech seemed to appease the crowd. There were murmurs, but also nods of acceptance and understanding. She continued to speak, but Worf didn't hear her. He was unsettled. Upset, yet not able to move from his spot next to her. The crowd dispersed from the foyer back into the rest of the house to continue with the festivities.

"I was anticipating that," D'Lina said to him, "It went well. Wouldn't you say?"

Worf glared at her, "Jadzia is my wife. She will come back home."

She crossed her arms, "I did not hear you speak up for her."

Worf could not dispute that.

D'Lina softened her approach, "Worf, I understand that you must be feeling somewhat uncertain right now," she placed her hand on his chest, "That is fine. Just keep in mind where your life is taking you. Do not forget what is truly important to you. Look what you are building for yourself here. And if your wife was as loyal to you as a good wife should be, she would have seen your happiness and success and stayed in support of that."

D'Lina left Worf standing there, allowing him to soak in her worlds. When she first met the Starfleet Klingon- turned Ambassador, she was not at all impressed. She felt that Worf was just a showpiece for the Federation. To her, there was nothing Klingon about him at all.

Not that her view of him had changed much. But in Worf she saw great potential. This was a man desperate to become a true Klingon. This was a man with power, position and influence. Not that D'Lina needed that; after all, her father was the Chancellor. But she knew that as a woman in Klingon society in order to be powerful she would need a powerful husband.

She looked back at Worf, who was still wearing that blank, confused look. It would be hard for D'Lina to respect a man that could let himself love an alien woman. With time, that could change. Right now Worf was grieving the loss of his family. He would need someone to comfort him through that. He needed someone to convince him that this was for the best and someone to be ready to take Jadzia's place when the time came.

D'Lina put on her best smile, and stayed at Worf's side the rest of the evening.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

"So, how does Mommy look?"

Zaphirah clapped her hands, even though she had no idea what she was clapping for. Jadzia spun around and placed her hands confidently on her hips, "I think I look pretty damned good, Zaphi. And you know what? It feels good."

Jadzia was wearing a Starfleet uniform. It had been almost a year and a half since she last wore one. She was going to be on duty today in ops. She was as giddy as a young girl. She and Zaphirah had moved into their new home last week and were settling in fine.

The chime on their door sounded and Jadzia gave a loud "Come in!"

The door slid open and Dr. Bashir entered, "Well welcome back, Commander."

"Julian!" Jadzia threw her arms around him and gave him a tight squeeze, "It is so good to see you!"

"You have been here a week and haven't bothered to stop by and say hello."

"I'm sorry. We've been busy. And I have been a little apprehensive."

"Come now, Jadzia. We are friends. Have been that way going on nine years now. Whatever has happened, you don't have to worry about what I will say or think. I am just glad to have you back."

"Thank you, Julian," she kissed his cheek, "You are too good to me."

His eyes were sparkling as he spoke to her. It was very good to have her back. She was more gorgeous than he remembered. Her blue eyes danced as she smiled at him. Julian felt guilty for feeling this way, but he was not exactly upset to hear that Jadzia had returned to DS9, without her husband.

"So, how are you two settling in?"

"Just fine," Jadzia said as she lifted Zaphirah into her arms, "This is my home, remember?"

Julian opened his mouth to speak, but his comm. badge sounded, "Infirmary to Dr. Bashir. Medical emergency."

"I'm on my way… I have to go. But you and I will have dinner tonight? Okay?"

She smiled brightly, "Of course we will. My place."

He flashed her one last smile as he quickly left.

"Why couldn't I have fallen in love with him?" She asked herself aloud. "Why couldn't I be in love with a man that is normal? Someone who could appreciate me and love me back without all the crap Worf puts me through?"

Tear began to fall down her face.

"And why hasn't he tried to contact me? Doesn't he care that we are gone? Hasn't he even noticed? It's been a week and nothing. He's got to know where I am."

Jadzia sighed and wiped her face, "It's okay Zaphi," she said with a sniff, "We are just fine. Just fine."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The house was silent. Well, that was not exactly true. Klingon opera blared through the comm. systems at the highest level. Worf tried to drown out the deafening silence, but could not.

The house was as empty as he felt. He wanted desperately to contact Jadzia on DS9. He'd found out that she was re-instated as Science Officer and head pilot for the Defiant. He knew that is where she would be the happiest.

The first few days, Worf was angry. Angry that she would leave him, angry that she didn't care about him or what he was achieving. But now, seven days later, he understood. He had really understood all along but had been too selfish to see. He was so caught up in this "dream" of his, that he had lost the only true things in his life.

Well, now he had that dream. He had his father's home. An empty home with no wife, no children and no love. He had the respect of people. People who didn't really respect him for who he was, but for who he wanted them to think he was. The truth was, Worf was and would always be the "Starfleet Klingon." He belonged there. He was happy there. He had made a life for himself there. Though he respected and even loved his Klingon heritage, he knew deep down he would never belong here.

His home was with Jadzia. Starfleet was his home.

The question was; would she have him again? He had hurt her deeply and he knew that would not be easily fixed. It was no matter. Worf would not give up. He would make her see that he loved her and their family.

Worf sat at his computer console. He heard the main door open and could hear Kiroq speaking. Then footsteps. Moments later, Kiroq was standing before him, with D'Lina at her side.

"Ambassador, D'Lina is here to see you."

Worf didn't say anything. Kiroq left the room.

"Do you mind turning the music down?"

He still did not speak.

"Computer, decrease music volume by 50%," she commanded.

"You act as if you are the lady of the house," Worf finally said.

She smirked, "Well, this house could definitely use one."

"I have a wife."

D'Lina shook her head, "A wife who left you. Really, it is not honorable for you to sit here moping like a child. Jadzia is gone, and you are better for it. You need to dissolve your marriage to her so that you can continue your life here with your people- sooner than later. The people do not want an Ambassador that is tied to an alien."

He narrowed his eyes, "Why are you so eager for me to get a divorce?"

D'Lina slowly approached him. With one finger, she traced the ridges on his forehead, "You are destined for greatness. Any woman who cannot see that does not deserve to be your wife. You need a woman who knows and respects you. Besides, a Klingon warrior should not sleep alone."

Worf turned from her without acknowledgment and began writing. D'Lina was insulted, but hid it, "What are you working on?" she asked.

"Several things."

"Care to share?"

"First, I am drafting a resignation letter to you father."

D'Lina almost fell over, "What?"

"I am leaving. I am going home."

She began to panic. It was not supposed to work this way, "You are home."

He shook his head, "I am not. I tried to make this my home, but it is not. Starfleet is my home. And I am going back. I hope your father realizes how grateful I am-"

"You are a fool," she said angrily," You are a fool for running after that woman. You do not deserve to be a part of my father's house. You are a weak man, not fit to be called a Klingon. After all my father has done for you. You were no one, a man without a house or honor. He made you what you are and you repay him by quitting. "

"That will be for Martok to judge."

D'Lina was fuming, "How can you want a woman that does not want you?"

"She is my wife. I love her and if she no longer loves me, I will deal with that,"

She placed her hands firmly on the desk and spoke frankly, "I would have you, Worf. Stay, end your marriage to Jadzia and you and I could be married."

"You do not love me and I do not love you."

"What is love? You and I would be a good match. We would grow to admire one another. Love is for the weak. It makes you do stupid things, like what you are about to do. You are making a mistake that you will never be able to right. You have everything here. Marry me and have the Klingon family you have always wanted."

"I already have what I want. Now please leave."

"I will say it once more. Consider what you are throwing away. You will never get this life back."

"Good day, D'Lina."

She glared at him for a long time. Without another word, she turned and left.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

"Commander."

Jadzia looked up from her station. She felt like a Ensign on her first day of duty.

"Yes Colonel?"

Kira smiled at her, "Relax. How are you doing?"

"Between the pregnancy and then going to Qo'noS right after having the baby, it's been ages. I can barely remember all the procedures and commands for a routine duty shift."

"It's been a year and a half. This is your second day back on duty. Hey, why don't we take a break?"

"It's only 1100 hours?"

"Hey, who's in charge of this station? I say it's break time!"

Kira put her arm around Dax and led her away from her post and towards the lift. They headed for Quark's bar. Jadzia let out a sigh of relief to see that Quark was not there. She loved her old friend, but every since she came back to DS9 last week, he had been hitting on her daily. Normally she would have handled his advances like a pro, shooting him a friendly yet snide rejection that made them both laugh. Now. It only reminded herself of the fact that he saw her as 'available'.

Kira straddled her chair backwards the way she always did. The Bajoran waitress took their order, two raktajinos, and brought them promptly.

"How are things going for you? Other than work?"

Dax smiled inwardly. The up-front and brazen yet gentle and understanding manner of her friend had been missed. "Well, I miss my daughter like crazy. I want to go down to the childcare every hour to make sure she is okay."

"How was she yesterday?" Kira asked.

"Surprisingly good. She loved it. I was really worried because she had not been around other children before. True, she is only six months, but her development has been faster than any child I have ever seen. She is not walking yet, but I am certain she will be by the end of the month."

Kira was hesitant to open this door, but she knew she had to, "What about you and your husband?"

Jadzia stared into her cup, "I haven't heard anything from Worf. Nothing. It has been ten days since I left."

"What were you hoping for?" Nerys asked quietly.

"I was hoping that leaving would wake him up. Snap him back to reality. I couldn't get through to him any other way. I couldn't get him to see me. So I figured that if he missed me, he would realize what we have. But he hasn't. It's been eight days," her eyes began to well with tears, "I can just imagine that he is happy we are gone. Relieved." Right before the tears spilled over, her voice turned angry, "I can just imagine that D'Lina woman is terribly happy I am gone. I bet she's swooped in on my husband already. She wanted me out of the picture the entire time. And I bet Worf is buying all her crap about him needing a real Klingon woman."

Kira didn't know the whole story, but she was beginning to piece it together, "I can't believe you of all people is going to sit here and let another woman take what is yours."

"You know, I thought that too at first. And if it were just another woman, I could handle it. But it's more than that. It's a dream. Worf has been chasing this dream his entire life. I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that I am not a part of that dream."

"That is a hard realization to face. When you find love, you think it will last forever," now Kira's voice was melancholy, "I have had to accept that same thing. I love Odo, I believe in my own way I always will. But I am not a part of the path his life is taking. That is very hard."

Jadzia stayed silent. She did not want to believe that she and Worf were not meant for the same path. But whether or not she wanted to believe it didn't matter. It had been ten days…

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Worf walked into the High Command Building with fast, long paces. His boots pounded on the flooring as he made his way towards the Chancellor's office. He was not angry- he was determined.

Martok was in his office, but he was not alone. With him was the last person Worf needed to see at this moment; Martok's daughter D'Lina. She glared at Worf as he entered the office. It was not the angry glare Worf had been expecting. It still held her seductive flare.

Worf began to speak, but Martok stopped him, "I know already. My daughter has told me that you plan to leave the Homeworld."

Worf bristled, "Sir, I would have preferred to discuss this with you myself."

Martok waved his hand, "Ease up, my friend. I understand. I had a feeling when Jadzia left here that you would follow not to long after."

"Father how can you be so calm about this? Worf is throwing your kindness right back at you! With all you have done for him-"

"Worf is my brother, a bond forged with blood over many battlefields. I owe him far more than he owes me. Truthfully," Martok lowered his tone a bit, "When I asked you to take this position, I knew within my heart it might not work. I wanted it to work because I value your counsel and friendship. But this is not your home."

Worf took offense to that even though he knew it to be the truth, "I am a Klingon-"

"Save the speeches, brother. You are a Klingon. Your heart is filled with more honor and courage than any Klingon I have ever known. But you must be true to yourself. Your home is elsewhere, and you know where that is. You have spent your entire life denying what you know deep inside. You are and will always be the Starfleet Klingon. Be proud of that."

Worf was silent a moment before speaking, "I must go immediately. I will return to get my affairs in order, but I must go to DS9 now. I am not certain if Jadzia will have me back. If I were in her place I would not have me back. But she is my par'machkai and I must try."

Martok nodded, "Take a shuttle. Take as long as you need," he reached out and gripped Worf's forearm in the traditional greeting, "Qapla, my brother."

"Qapla."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

"Whoops! Now look at the mess you have made?"

Jadzia and Zaphirah were having dinner together that evening. The rest of her day after having drinks with Kira went pretty well. She was starting to get the hang of things. Now at home for the evening, she and Zaphi were eating and Zaphi just turned her half empty bowl of food over onto the floor, something she frequently did when she was full.

Jadzia was on her hands and knees under the table cleaning it up when the door chime rang. She yelled "Enter!" without getting up.

The door slid open. Zaphi began to clap her hands together rapidly. Jadzia heard a voice say her name.

"Jadzia."

She knew that voice. She had been longing for that voice. She tried to stand up rapidly, only to bang her head on the underside of the table. Worf rushed to help her up.

She was face to face with him. They were close enough to feel one another 's rapid breathing. His eyes were pleading with her. He hadn't said a word, yet she knew why he was here.

Dax had played this moment in her head every night since she got back to DS9. She imagined yelling at him, pounding his chest, letting him know exactly how much he had hurt her. She would not take him back right away. She would have to think about it at least a week.

All she could utter was a surprised whisper, "Worf?"

"I… I do not know what to say."

Jadzia took a few more breaths and gained her composure. She pushed past Worf and lifted Zaphi out of her high chair, "What are you doing here?"

Worf was still stammering, not something the Klingon did too often, "I, I came to see you. And our daughter."

Jadzia placed Zaphi on the floor in the middle of the room with a pile of toys. Then she walked back to the table and began cleaning up dinner. She mustered up her most nonchalant attitude, "Any particular reason you are suddenly interested in us?"

"You are my wife, I…" Worf attention was diverted towards his daughter. Zaphirah was crawling on the floor towards him, "She can crawl now?"

Jadzia rolled her eyes, "She has been doing that for quite some time now."

Worf's eyes lowered, "I never-"

Dax finished his sentence, "You never noticed. You never noticed anything. Why are you here? What do you want?"

"I want my life back."

"Your life? Your life isn't here. And it isn't with either of us. You made that painfully clear back on Qo'noS," She was starting to lose her hard edge, and her voice began to quiver, "Painfully clear."

"I was wrong. This is my life. Here, on DS9. With you."

Dax quickly sniffed away the coming tears, "What made you come to that conclusion? Did D'Lina decide she didn't want you?"

"D'Lina? What are you talking about?"

"I have eyes Worf. I know when I am losing my husband to another woman. And I am not one to sit around crying about it. You didn't want me, so I left."

Worf lost the anxiety in his voice and was now getting angry, "I do not have any feelings for D'Lina. I never have!"

Jadzia placed her hands firmly on her hips, "Okay, well, maybe it wasn't D'Lina that I lost you to. It was your damned dreams, or should I say delusions, of Klingon grandeur! Face it Worf. A Trill wife and half breed daughter are not part of the life you dreamed up for yourself."

"I never said that!"

Worf's voice boomed across the room. Instantly, Zaphirah burst into wailing tears. Jadzia glared at Worf as she rushed to her daughter's side and scooped her up in her arms.

"I won't have you yelling and upsetting my daughter."

Worf calmed his voice, but his emotions were still high, "She is my daughter as well. And we have much to discuss."

Jadzia clutched Zaphirah tightly, "I don't want to have anything to do with you. You made your choice back on the Homeworld."

Worf could feel his anger rising again. Jadzia was clearly set in how she felt, and he was going nowhere.

"If that is how you feel..."

"It is," she snapped back, "I'd like you'd to leave."

His eyes met hers and he gave her a hard gaze, as if he were trying to read her thoughts. Jadzia turned her eyes from his gaze; she was afraid that he would be able to see that she didn't want him to leave. Worf didn't say he anything else as he left her quarters.

His fists were clenched tightly as he walked through the corridors. He was heading back to his shuttle at the docking ring. Why was Jadzia being so difficult? Hadn't he apologized? What more did she want?

"There is no point in staying here," Worf said aloud. He'd made up his mind. He would leave. He'd tried and Jadzia wasn't willing to accept him again. Worf turned around and headed for the promenade. He needed a drink and the replicator on the shuttle couldn't make what he had a taste for.

"Prune Juice."

The Ferengi bartender looked up in disbelief. He had never seen a Klingon up close, and certainly didn't expect one to order a Human drink. But he was too afraid to question him and rushed to get his drink.

Worf took a seat at the bar and looked around. Quark's had changed since he was last there. He noticed there was even more Bajoran décor, which probably had something to do with Colonel Kira being the Commander of the station.

The Ferengi returned with Worf's drink. Worf had a seat at the bar and took a big drink. He hadn't had a glass of prune juice in a very long time. He'd forgotten how much he liked the simple drink.

"Toj told me there was a Klingon here asking for prune juice. There is only one Klingon in the universe that drinks prune juice."

Worf could feel his nerves clench. He didn't even have to look up to know who it was. Quark had just appeared from behind the bar and was standing before him.

"I wish to be left alone."

"I'm sure you do," Quark continued, "But that's just too bad. If you really wanted to be left alone, you wouldn't have come to my bar."

Worf grunted in response.

"You know, when you wife showed up here last week I was ecstatic. And I was even more so when I found out that she was here without you."

Worf looked up, stunned that the Ferengi had the audacity to speak to him that way, "How dare you—"

"Save the speeches, Worf. It doesn't matter. When you married her, I swore that if you ever screwed up, I'd be right there. Of course, I would have to get in line behind Julian."

There was a low groan in Worf's throat. He always knew there were many out there who would gladly take his place. He just didn't want to hear about it.

Quark continued, "So, when she got here last week, naturally, I was my charming self. But it was no use. She is still as in love with you as ever, regardless of what you did to her."

Worf was suddenly eager to listen to Quark, but did not want to let on, "And how would you know?"

"She came in here the second night she was here, whining about how much she missed you and how she didn't know what she was going to do. I've never seen her like that. I told her she needed to get over you and find a real man, but she didn't seem to agree…" Quark let his voice trail off and watched Worf's face. He obviously was pleased with what he heard, but was trying hard to pretend not to care.

"So, what are you doing here? Aren't you some big shot on the Homeworld?"

Worf wasn't quite ready to discuss himself with Quark. He changed the subject, "How has Jadzia been?"

"Well, I haven't seen her much. She just started working again and I guess the baby keeps her busy. Julian has had dinner with her a few times, he said she is happy to be back home."

That made Worf's stomach clench. He knew Quark was no real competition, but Dr. Bashir was different. He was always a bit jealous of Julian's relationship with his wife. Though the two never dated, he knew the doctor had feelings for her, and that she was fond of him.

"Dr. Bashir?"

Quark could see that got to Worf, "Yep."

Worf quickly finished his drink, "Thank you," he said hurriedly and left the bar.

The next morning, Worf arose early and headed for ops. He was hoping Jadzia would not be there, and was happy to see she wasn't.

Kira knew Worf was on the station when she read the report of docked ships. She assumed he was here just to see his wife and settle things with her. So she was quite surprised when he appeared in her office the next morning.

"Ambassador, what can I do for you?"

He shook her hand, "I am no longer the Ambassador. I resigned my position there."

Kira sat back at her desk, "May I ask why?"

"I would like to return to Starfleet."

She had a feeling that is what he was going to say that, "Why come to me if you want to return to Starfleet? You know the fleet has been shorthanded since the war ended and there are many captains that would be willing to take you on."

"Colonel, I was hoping to regain my position here on Deep Space Nine. I understand you are lacking a first officer and Starfleet has been pressuring you to find one."

Kira was blunt with him, "Mr. Worf, I think you are an exceptional officer. You are a fighter, you have heart and you are hardworking; all things I admire. But I do not want to hire someone who is just going to use the position to get his wife back."

Worf was caught off guard by her bluntness, but knew he should have expected it from her, "I understand your concern. But I can assure you—"

"I know what you are going to say. The truth is, I need someone and you are the best person for this job. You know the station, you have been here and I know and respect your style. I am not keen on having to train anyone new. But I have two concerns. First, I understand having a loyalty to your own people, but I have to be assured that when you decide to work here, you won't be leaving every time Martok calls. Secondly, I cannot have two of my most important staff members at odds. Jadzia is the science officer and Defiant pilot. You would be the first officer and commander of the Defiant. Regardless of what is going on personally, I would expect the highest level of professionalism."

"You have my word, Colonel. I have decided to make Starfleet my permanent home. I am not returning to the Homeworld. As for Jadzia and I, I can only speak for myself. I will do my best to do my job, and let nothing come in the way of that."

If there was one thing Kira knew about Worf, it was that he was a dedicated officer. She believed him.

"Alright. I am going to take you back on. When Jadzia walked through that door last week, I was desperately hoping you'd be right behind her. This place has not been the same since everyone left. Since Captain Sisko has been gone, I feel like I have been starting over from scratch. It is going to be a pleasure to have you back, Mr. Worf."

Worf stood and shook her hand firmly, "I am glad to be back."

"I will send the word to Starfleet, and you should be re-instated within a few days."

She gave Worf permission to leave. Kira smiled. Things were looking up. She had two members of the senior staff back, two very important and hard working members.

If only she could get those two to get along.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

This was ridiculous. This was outrageous. Jadzia stood with her hands tightly grasped behind her back while Kira told her who the new First Officer would be. Jadzia bit her lip hard. She forced a smile and promised Kira she could be professional about this.

And she would be. There was no way she was going to make a fool out of herself in ops. She wasn't going to give anyone that satisfaction.

But while Jadzia vowed not to make a fool of herself professionally, she had every intention of giving Worf a piece of her mind in private.

The day Kira told her what was going on, Jadzia calmly excused herself from ops. Then she barked at the computer to tell her where she could find Commander Worf. He was on his Klingon shuttle, docked at airlock 8. Dax made her way to the docking ring.

The shuttle Martok gave Worf was not very large and it was not difficult to find Worf. He was opening a Starfleet issue crate and taking out his new uniforms.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Worf turned around to see Jadzia standing in the doorway with her hands firmly planted on her hips.

"I am unpacking."

She narrowed her eyes, "You know what I mean. Kira just told me you are going to be the First Officer. Why in the world are you staying here? What are you trying to do?"

"I am trying to put my life back together. I have realized where I want to be, and that is here on DS9."

"And that has nothing to do with me? I can't believe you'd stoop this low to get me back."

Worf tried to feign confusion, "I have just as much right to live and work here as you do."

"Don't try to play dumb with me. The only reason you asked for this position was to try to get me back."

"You made your feelings clear the other night."

Jadzia was fuming, "You know, Worf, I thought you'd have the decency to leave. After what you put me through on the Homeworld and after I told you the other night that I was done with you I thought you'd be man enough to spare us this humiliation and leave my life. What do you think this is going to accomplish?"

"I wish to be near my daughter. I do have that right, regardless of how you feel about me. That is why I am staying."

That response caught Jadzia off guard. She hadn't even considered Zaphirah in all this. She was quiet for a moment.

"Well, I just came here to tell you that no matter what, I have made up my mind. I do not want to get back together."

Her words hurt Worf deeply, but he did his best to hide it. He turned his face from hers so she couldn't see his expression, "May I ask why?"

Dax drew in a short breath, a bit surprised he'd even ask that, "Why? Because, Worf, even if I could set aside the way you treated me, even if I could accept that you are ready to return to the man I fell in love with, how do I know that it will last? How do I know that every time a Klingon ship docks, you will not run to them and forget about me? How can I ever be sure that won't happen?"

"I give you my word, Jadzia—"

She waved her hand, signally him to stop, "You gave me your word the day we were married. Your word obviously doesn't mean much. Nothing in your life will ever be as important as your desire to be the 'perfect' Klingon. Not me, not your children, not Starfleet, nothing."

Worf wanted to speak again, he wanted to tell her that she was wrong, that he knew what was important. But he knew she wouldn't listen. Her mind was made up. He'd lost her.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Jadzia felt emotionally drained. She headed to the daycare to pick up Zaphirah and take her home. Her marriage was over. She should have known it would come to this. She remembered how he behaved right before their wedding. He was trying to make her conform to Klingon standards, and almost didn't marry her because she wouldn't apologize to Sirella. She should have known then.

But then she remembered the same man who risked his own life and career to save her on that mission two years ago, when she had been shot and was stranded in the jungle, Worf thought of only her when he defied Starfleet by aborting the mission to take her back to safety. She remembered how he wanted to prove to her he'd be a good father by caring for Kirayoshi. She remembered how much she loved him…

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Alexander Rozhenko arrived in Deep Space Nine three weeks after his father left Qo'noS. He'd spent those three weeks trying to figure out what he wanted. His life had been spent in limbo trying to find where he belonged. He had never had a great relationship with his father. It wasn't until this incident with Jadzia that he realized why.

So now he was here on DS9, and he'd requested to see his father. He expected Worf to be angry at him; after all, he was an accomplice in Jadzia's departure. But Worf was eager to see his son and agreed to meet him in Quark's bar that day for lunch.

When Alexander arrived, his father was not there. It was not at all like Worf to be late, but before Alexander could get too worried, Worf walked in. They took a seat at a table on the lower level.

The bar was unusually empty for midday. Right above Worf and his son, on the upper level, sat Jadzia Dax. She was having lunch alone. She didn't know the two were seated directly below her, until she heard Worf's unmistakable voice.

"I am very pleased to see you."

"I'm glad father. I was prepared for you to refuse."

The second voice Jadzia heard was Alexander's. She was about to leave, but her curiosity was piqued. What could these two be up to? She had a feeling it was some plot to get her back. She grunted. Worf couldn't stand to lose anything.

However, as Jadzia listened on, she learned she was wrong.

"What can I do for you?" Worf asked his son.

"You and I have never been close. We might as well admit that. It took until recent events for me to realize why," Alexander took a deep breath, "You want me to be something I am not. You want me to be what you could not be. But I will never be a 'Good Klingon.' It is just not in me. My mother was half human. I was raised by you and by humans, the same humans that raised you. I have tried to force myself to want to be more Klingon."

"What are you getting at?"

"The Homeworld has no place for me. Or for you." Worf was silent. That last part was hard to hear, but he knew it was true. He continued listening to his son. "You have found a place to call home here in Starfleet. I have always been proud of your accomplishments as a Starfleet officer. You wanted me to take a different path than the one you took. But I think your path has been very honorable. I want to become a Starfleet officer. And I want you to be my sponsor."

Because Alexander was a Klingon, a world not in the Federation, he needed a Starfleet Commander to sponsor him as a cadet.

Worf spoke, "I always thought that if you decided to go to Starfleet, I would be disappointed because I wanted you to be a warrior. Yet, now that the moment has come, I could not be more proud. I am honored that you wish to follow the path that I have taken," Worf's chest swelled with pride, "Honored."

Alexander smiled, "Thank you father. Thank you. I know this is the right decision. I know I will get accepted. I think I want to go into science, or perhaps diplomacy. I haven't decided yet."

"I am certain you will choose something that suits you. You are right about us. We are Klingon, and can never forget or deny that. But we do not belong there. That world is not our world. That has been a hard lesson for me to learn. I had to lose my wife before I truly understood. I lost years with you because of it. I have finally accepted that this is my home… this is the only place where I have been truly accepted."

Alexander quieted his voice a bit, "What will you do about Jadzia?"

"There is nothing that I can do. She has made up her mind."

"It isn't like you to give up, Father."

"I love and respect Jadzia. But I have hurt her, and that is not something that can be remedied simply by apologizing. It takes time to build trust again. I have to show her that I am serious about making my life here in Starfleet, and that I am serious about her. I am hoping that in time she will see that. If she does not, well, that is her choice."

"So you're not going to do anything?"

"Sometimes the wise thing to do is wait. I would just makes things worse by pursuing her."

"But what if it doesn't work out? What if she never comes back?"

"That is something I will learn to deal with."

Jadzia had heard enough. She stood from her table and quietly left the bar, staying out of sight of Worf or Alexander. Her heart was racing. Did he mean all those things? Her heart wanted to trust him. She wanted them to have the life that they deserved to have, that they hadn't been able to have yet. She wanted them to be a family.

She headed back to ops and thought about it more. Life was a gamble. So is love. Dax had been in love more times than Jadzia could count. Each host handled it differently. But through the years, Dax learned that nothing was guaranteed. Many things could happen to take love away. Jadzia would have to take a leap of faith.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Worf returned to ops later that afternoon. Jadzia was at her station when she saw him come up on the lift and walk to his station. They never spoke when they were working together, unless absolutely necessary. They never even looked at each other. Yet right now, she was looking at him. Worf could feel her gaze and turned to face her.

Jadzia took a deep breath, and headed to his station.

"Worf?"

"Yes Commander?"

Her hands were firmly clasped behind her back and her voice was low, "Um, I wanted to ask you… if you'd been assigned quarters on the station yet. Or perhaps you were planning to make the Defiant your permanent home again."

Worf found himself nervously stammering, "No, I have not. Not yet." He didn't mention the fact that he hadn't even applied yet.

"Why don't you come over for dinner tonight. We can talking about finding you a place to live. I think Zaphirah misses her father. And," she lowered her eyes, "I miss my husband."

The last thing Jadzia wanted to do was make a scene of any kind in front of the junior officers in ops. But before she knew it, Worf's arms were wrapped firmly around her body and he was kissing her. Kissing her like he hadn't kissed her in a very long time. Right there in ops, in front of everyone. And she was kissing him back.

"So does this mean you are coming over tonight?"

Worf nodded, "I will be there."

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

(March 1, 2002)