Disclaimer: The characters and universe of Star Trek belong to Paramount Pictures.

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 IV

"It is good to meet a coworker of Julian's, finally." Jane said forwarding a hand to Nerys.

Nerys' hand moved automatically without a thought. "Yes, indeed," She said but her voice had gone down and it did not go unnoticed. Julian however was tactful enough not to show it. "Ah, welcome to Deep Space Nine."

"Thank you," Jane said beaming. "I've been dying to see it for ages but never really could. Starfleet kept me busy."

"I know the feeling." Nerys replied and feeling a bit braver added. "Would you like to see it…I mean a tour of the station?"

"I'd love to."


"Um, I'm going to leave you ladies with that. I'll take care of your bags, Jane." Julian said taking the said bags. "I'll meet you later at Quark's. Have fun!"

"Oh, isn't he the sweetest?" Jane drooled dreamingly after him.

Nerys though rolled eyes. If this would have been the real Jadzia she would have definitely not believed it. But this wasn't Jadzia. It was a different woman despite the obvious similarity.

"Shall we?" Nerys proposed and led the way.

As it turned out, Jane Xena was part of the explorer division of Starfleet and quite fascinated with astrophysical events of any kind on the exception of wormholes. And this is what Nerys found strange as DS9 was close to one, and yet Jane had said she'd been dying to come. It was an odd contradiction. But then again, humans of Earth often displayed this duality.

Jane also held the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She had been promoted lastly and assigned to the USS Tesla. And obviously she had taken some time off to be with her new boyfriend Julian that had unavoidably scheduled a visit to DS9.

Nerys started to wonder what they really had in common other than Starfleet and Jane's obvious resemblance of Jadzia which she knew would draw Julian like a magnet. Of course, first she had to check if everyone was seeing the same thing as she was. She had a sneaky feeling she was the only one. Thankfully though, she was not the only one.

The tour of the station did not take long for there was not much to see anyway but Jane found everything perfectly exciting. Nerys got to get the feeling Jane did not leave her lab much or very often. It was not uncommon for dedicated scientists though.

They stopped at all spots where Julian used to work or go for a walk. Jane wanted to know and see everything. And for these moments with Jane, Nerys completely forgot her worries. The faces subdued and vanished completely.

Finally they stopped at Quark's. Julian was sitting on his usual table with a drink at hand and was speaking with Quark. The latter the moment he laid eyes on Jane had almost the same reaction as Nerys. His eyes grew widely in surprise but then remembering his manners left the good doctor to greet the new guest.

"I'm Quark, owner of this establishment of entertainment."

"Hello," Jane said. "I'm Jane."

"Beautiful name!" Quark said while getting behind the bar and serving her a drink.

"How did you know?" Jane exclaimed visibly surprised. "It is my favorite," And drank it in one gulp.

"I have an eye for the customers." Quark replied launching his wide open smile.

Nerys' senses however were on high alert once again. Ironically, all Jane liked was sneakily the same as Jadzia, and yet they only resembled each other.

"That's a good trait for a bartender." Jane observed with a smile. "One more,"

"Coming right up,"

Jane, Julian and Nerys stayed late. And it came time for Quark to close for usual customers as it was Tongo night. But Jane insisted on staying and learning of the game. Quark had nothing against and neither did Julian.

Quark and his Ferengi associates played for some time before out of the blue Jane joined the game. Quark, much like Nerys, quickly found the similarities between Jadzia and Jane. Both had the passion of the game and the annoying luck in it.

"We can it a night." Julian said after four hours of straight play.

"I quite agree with you, Doctor." Quark supported the idea. Jane was just as good as Jadzia but perhaps a bit more devious. She had won every game since she joined the table and that was not good for business. "Another time,"

"Yeah, sure," Jane said collecting her strips of gold pressed latinum. "It was a fun night."

"Yes," Julian agreed.

Julian and Jane bid Nerys goodnight while she walked alone to her quarters. She was very pensive. These past few days were quite eventful – the faces in the crowd, the strange message apparently she had left for herself, and Jane, the doppelganger of Jadzia.

She had not forgotten Q's words either but she was not ready to act upon them. Q had pointed to a star and given her the coordinates. But she could not simply leave everything and ran off to some distant stars in order to clear her vision up. But then again, the persistence of the faces in the crowd was taking its toll too.

She kept wondering of the vision. Now that Jane was present perhaps the others would appear too, one by one. It was a theory that made everything seeming easier and soothing. But was it going to hold? She decided to give it some time.

Julian remained for a few weeks on DS9 and so did Jane. But Nerys' theory did not come to bear any fruits. During that time, there were a few emergencies but nothing Nerys could not handle.

"Alright," She said to herself. "I've delayed long enough."

She had finally given up fighting the faces in the crowd but even so it was hard. Her dreams had slightly changed as of late. She was seeing now only the young commander in the blue uniform. The funny thing was she had never seeing him before. Yes, she did try to hold his image so she could search the database but came up empty.

The week Julian was leaving was the week she decided to leave the station and find the answers to her curious puzzle.

"I hope to see you again, Nerys." Julian said while giving her a hug. "When I come to visit again that is."

"Of course, you will." Nerys smiled.

"It has been an immense pleasure making your acquaintance." Jane said vividly extending a hand that Nerys promptly shook.

"I feel the same way." Nerys answered.

Julian and Jane boarded their ship. Nerys looked at the hatch for a long time before moving on. She returned to her quarters, packed her bags and headed for landing pad C where the Rio Grande awaited.

Boarding, she left her bags and started the preignition sequence. The engines roared, the pad raised the little ship and took off. Nerys entered the coordinates Q had left for her and engaged the ship into warp. The stars merged and she disappeared into the depths of space.

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