Welcome to my story! This is my first ever published fanfiction, and I must say that I am very excited.
Pairing: K/Du - if you don't like this pairing then I wouldn't advise reading this. Please don't post negative reviews if the only thing you object to is the pairing.
Rating: T - this rating will change later, but for now it is a T rating
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I just like playing with them.
"On Deep Space Nine you're nothing but a bureaucrat, an administrator, but if you come with me you can be a soldier again."
Dukat's voice swept softly over Kira as she thought about the person in the picture he was painting so eloquently. The possibility of staying with him, of fighting again, as much as she hated to admit it, was one that she could seriously consider once she overcame her knee-jerk reaction of always denying him. As strong and as satisfying as that initial reaction may be.
Dukat looked at Kira's face and saw that his words were having an effect on her. As much as she would like to hide what she felt from him, he remembered his years of fighting members of the resistance, and he knew the fire that drove the Bajorans in their defeat over his people. There was no way that Kira Nerys of the legendary Shakarr resistance cell didn't enjoy what she had done – beyond just the restoration of her people. He had seen her on that station and knew that she must miss the struggle and the fight that she had lived through. She might hate his people for what they had done during the occupation, but she couldn't deny to him that there was some small part of her that missed it. The truth was evident there on her face.
"Think about it Major. The chance to fight against a superior foe in a righteous cause…to protect a defeated and broken people from a cruel aggressor. You know as well as I do that if Cardassia falls, Bajor is next. Help me stop the Klingons before you become their next target"
Through the haze of doubt and consideration that was crowding Kira's mind while he spoke, she could see the truth of what he was saying. The Klingons had spent years professing their allegiance to the Federation, yet they could change their minds and their ways so quickly in regards to their allies that there's no telling what might happen to those planets that never were their allies – even if they were never their direct enemies like the Cardassians were. If the Klingons were triumph over Cardassia then there was a definite possibility that Bajor could be next in their sights.
Kira looked into Dukat's face; he seemed so earnest and well meaning, his piercing blue eyes bore into her own. He had schooled his features to make sure that he did not betray any other reason for wanting Kira to stay aboard his ship. He had been intrigued by the recent developments in their relationship and was definitely more than tempted to find out where it would lead. And he wouldn't be himself if he didn't push the boundaries a little. She did not treat him with the same disdain that she used to – he didn't think that she saw him as just merely a Cardassian anymore – he no longer existed to her as just a symbol of her past, but as also a person in her present. He knew that he had Ziyal to thank for much of that change. On the way back from Dozaria with Ziyal, Dukat had had to explain to her that Kira and he were not together. He supposed that from Ziyal's perspective, a relationship between a Cardassian and a Bajoran was a completely normal thing to come across. It hurt him to have to disillusion her of that idea, because he did not find the prospect as disturbing as many others would. But unfortunately that was not a very common viewpoint. Who knows what could have been if Cardassia had not begun the Occupation of Bajor all those years ago. It's funny to think about what they've missed about that one possible future. But he can't quite bring himself to regret the circumstances that led him here. Especially regarding Ziyal. And as much as he wanted Kira to stay on this ship – for his benefit as well as his cause, he knew that pushing her would not be a good idea.
She is surprised by how seriously he seemed to want this. He was going to be following this foolhardy plan whether she's here or not. It's difficult to imagine Dukat in a position of low ranking, and she felt somewhat responsible for his demotion to this freighter, so it made sense that Dukat is unwilling to abide by the rules of his current station. There is something about him that wasn't meant to be kept down. He had the personality and power of someone that needed to be making his own decisions. It was no surprise that he had risen to the position of Prefect when he was still so relatively young. The idea of making his own way, without the backing of his government, is probably somewhat appealing to the rebel in him. But still, his earnestness surprised her.
"I know that our past makes it difficult for you to accept me as an ally. I know that every fibre of your being is telling to say 'no, no, no', but somewhere, I know there's a 'yes'. You need to listen to that 'yes' – not for my sake, not for Cardassia's, not even for Bajor's…but for your sake."
As he finishes his speech she is still looking into his eyes. His voice lulls her slightly; he makes the whole decision sound infinitely appealing. He hasn't pushed her too far in his requests, and she could even imagine how it might be. However, if she were to agree to his offer, she would have to spend weeks in a small ship with Dukat of all people! She's not sure if she could deal with him for that long. Sure, he might be so eloquent and understanding now, but once she had accepted him, she's sure that he would be back to his usual sanctimonious attitude, all self-confidence and oily charisma, obsessed with the sound of his own voice. She almost shivers at the thought. He had been remarkably tolerable so far into this trip, but she had been with him for only mere hours – who knows how many callous displays of cruelty, like the one she witnessed earlier with the Klingons, she would see him commit if she were to stay.
She doesn't hear what Damar says as he approaches them, her eyes are still locked with Dukat's, and her mind is turning over the different possibilities of his offer. To be a soldier again he had said. Is that what she wanted? But more to the point, could she be that person again? When she had been a part of the resistance, they had had a common goal to unite behind, a single overwhelming desire to be their own, free people. But on Dukat's ship, there was no telling how many of his men actually wanted to fight, as they would have to. Sure, they all wanted the Klingons out of Cardassian territory and for the war to end, but Cardassians were a notoriously proud species, many of them would be appalled at the idea of emulating Bajoran fighting techniques.
She regains focus as Dukat begins to speak again. His voice has changed a little, slightly huskier as he leans in further.
"Think of it Major. Think about the possibilities."
This time she does shiver slightly- the way his voice curled around the final word, the slight hiss of those possibilities. His face fills her view – that face that is both so alien and so familiar to her. She has known this face her entire life – longer than she knew either of her parents. And for almost as long, she has hated the very sight of it. But they are both older now; things have changed and moved on. Could she possibly forgive and forget any of the things that he did to her people? Or was it not really a question of that? Perhaps the answer was not to forgive him, but to merely move on. But the idea of letting that past go was too painful to consider. No, she told herself, she could not do that.
He pulled away from her once he saw that change come over her eyes. There would be no use trying to convince her further at the moment, it would only make her angry and defensive. His eyes roamed over her once more before turning away and addressing one of his men. They needed to return to Deep Space Nine to take the Major home and for further repairs. He still hoped however, that the Major would choose not to run back to Deep Space Nine, but to remain here.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw her straighten up and step away from his chair. She turned quickly and walked out of the bridge, his eyes following her. He would give her time to think, he thought, knowing that it was going to be a few hours before they returned to Deep Space Nine. He had seen her shudder at the sound of his voice before – but it was not one of fear. This filled him with a small hope that she might consider staying on this ship.
With me he added with a slight smirk before ordering the course setting of Deep Space Nine.
Hey guys, please don't forget to review! I have no beta reader so any grammatical/spelling errors or typos are entirely my own. I welcome all constructive criticisms and advice. We've got a long way to go with this story yet! I'll try and get the next chapter up within the week.
ADDED A/N: This chapter underwent some editing recently, so hopefully it is better.