Disclaimer: The characters and universe of Star Trek belong to Paramount Pictures but the words are mine.

AU/DS9: It has been years since everyone left – Benjamin, Worf, O'Brian, Nog, Julian and Odo. But then why Kira kept dreaming of them being together? And most disturbingly she kept seeing Jadzia, an old man, and a young commander playing tongo.

Old Friends never leave: Part I

The station was quiet at this hour. Colonel Kira Nerris was walking rather aimlessly around trying to shake off the night but it is always night in space. She had been having these dreams again. They were not leaving her alone. Walking aimlessly seemed to help.

The station was quiet. Not a soul was moving. Everyone was asleep except the night guards who promptly nodded when she passed by them. Kira passed by the security office and for a moment she could see again Odo sitting behind his desk reading the latest security report. It brought a smile to her face.

But she did not stay. The memory brought also emptiness and a disturbing sense of loss. She had fallen for the changeling but he had returned to his people in the Gama Quadrant and it was highly unlikely he would return.

The promenade was empty too except a light in Quark's that intrigued her. She opened the doors and saw Quark sitting on the tongo table turning the wheel just as aimlessly as her walk around the station was.

Quark lifted his head and nodded at her. Kira reached the table and sat. There was no need for words. They both had the same thought at this moment, the same feeling – a longing for friends gone. Well in Quark's opinion it was more of good customers gone or rule of acquisition two twenty four or something like that. The Ferengi were difficult to read sometimes but she had come to appreciate at least him.

They stayed like that for some time before Quark remembered his manners and went to fetch a drink for both of them. Kira smiled, raised her glass making a silent toast and drank it to the bottom. Putting down the glass, she stood up slowly and left Quark's.

This place brought other memories – Julian and O'Brian sitting on the bar talking about the next holographic adventure they would have, Jake and Nog scheming about getting or causing some trouble, Benjamin...ah, this was the painful side: Benjamin Sisko, the emissary of the Prophets. And then there was Worf and Jadzia planning for the next glorious encounter in the holographic chambers whether for battle or romance.

But they were all gone, every single one of them. Jadzia had been killed by Dukat, well the symbiot kept leaving in Ezri. Worf had left for Kronos to be ambassador or whatever. O'Brian was with his wife and daughter back on Earth. Julian had been reassigned as well, Nog and Jake too.

Kira closed her eyes. Every time she thought she kept seeing the dream. Every single one of them smiling and laughing, fighting and hurting, it was too much some times. She thrust her head and continued walking until she stopped again.

She was standing before the sanctum where they kept now the Tear of Prophecy. It was Barell's favourite orb. She had a sudden urge to go inside and have a peek. Maybe the Prophets could help her with the dreams.

She entered walking slowly till she reached the orb's casing. She lit a candle and placed on a handle on the wall saying the praying words then opened the casing's doors. The light of the orb encompassed her and she was no longer in the sanctum.

The vision this time was odd – a beautiful aromatic meadow surround by dark green forest with the sun high up on the bluest of blue skies, completely cloudless. Where was this place she knew not but it was peaceful and soothing.

She heard laughter and sought the source of the sound. And found it not far from her. A tongo table hosted a young commander in a blue suit, an old man and...her heart leapt in her throat – Jadzia.

She could not believe it. It was her dream. It was the dream that has been haunting her for quite some time.

The young commander turned at her. "Come join us Nerris." Startled she backed off and bumped firmly into someone's chest. She promptly turned to face him and froze. It was Ben, Benjamin Sisko. Benjamin smiled wide. "Come, Nerris, come find us…" The words were getting further and farther.

The light of the orb was shining in her face and she was back in the sanctum. But the words of Benjamin still resonated in her mind. But how was she supposed to find the first three that she knew were dead? And Benjamin, he was with the Prophets.

She needed someone to interpret the dream and the vision. And she got her wish though it was not someone she would have ever considered for that. A figure in red Starfleet uniform was gaping at her with a smile so wide.

"Q!" – She exclaimed her nostrils flaring up. Of all the troubles in the galaxy why did it have to be him answering her silent prayer for help?

"Colonel Kira Nerris," – Q whispered in the air. And as always he stood smug and overly arrogant or so it seemed. Q turned his eyes away and walked out of the sanctum.

With a vague undefined feeling she followed. He had disappeared. She sighed with relief but then she disappeared and reappeared up one level and he was standing near the window his gaze turned into the stars.

"What are you doing here?" – Kira couldn't resist asking.

Q did not reply at once. He continued to gaze into the depths of space. After a long pause and a sigh he said with a low voice. "Sometimes, rare times, the universe answers all calls, all prayers, even those that aren't possible." He turned around facing her, his eyes locked into hers. "Asking has always been a problem for your species. I imagine like the humans you are too shy." He pulled away from her and continued gazing at the stars.

Kira did not respond to this. She knew not what to respond. Q never comes clean about anything. His thoughts are like ropes that disentangle slowly with time.

"There," – Q said and pointed to a star. Symbols representing special coordinates appeared.

"There – what?" – Kira asked trying to get something out of this odd creature that would make any sense.

Q turned around and did the unthinkable. He kissed her before she could even react. "There you must go." And then with his smug smile he disappeared leaving her dumbfounded.

To be continued...

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