"I love you, Jadzia," Julian wept into the breast of Ezri Dax as they laid intertwined, possessor of the memories of her symbiont's former host but a far cry from the woman whose name he called.

Had Ezri known this exquisite torture was to become a facet of their relationship, she might have had reservations going into it. As it was, she endured these sessions as the price of Julian's love – a heart wrenching ritual that in different ways gave them both what they craved, desired, and ultimately needed.

That he was more passionate about the love that was never meant to be no longer stung. Ezri knew that Jadzia was a part of her, therefore by extension, Julian was just as passionate about her.

Ezri loved him, Jadzia hadn't. No more than friends. Somehow, knowing that comforted her even when Julian called the wrong name in the night. Ezri was the only one able to indulge him this way. She could give him the woman that he had never been able to have, and herself in the process.

Through Dax, the spirits of the two Trill women had joined to form his perfect partner, the only person Julian had found peace in so far.

He lifted his head, eyes red-rimmed and wet. "You can't possibly realize what you mean to me, Ezri."

And as with every night, those words washed away the sum of the pain; those words confirmed his appreciation for her. She accepted them graciously and thus allowed this to continue for another day, not only because any other reaction to his behavior would rend her heart over time, but because she was willing to do this for him out of the love only she could give.