Julian didn't get much sleep last night. Part of the reason was that he had grown used to having Ezri beside him as he slept, and her absence kept him tossing and turning all night. That, and every time that he closed his eyes, all he could see was Ezri's hurt face.
How could he have been so stupid to call her Jadzia? The feelings he used to have for Jadzia always made Ezri slightly uncomfortable, like Julian was only with her because she carried Jadzia's memories. Now, he had confirmed her worst fears: that he was just another person who saw her as a replacement as Jadzia.
Julian hit his pillow in frustration. He never once considered Ezri a replacement for Jadzia. Sometimes he could see bits of Jadzia in her, but he knew Ezri couldn't help it. Last night, while they were arguing, Julian saw all of Jadzia's passion and temper coming out through Ezri. Her eyes, which were the same shade of blue as Jadzia's, had burned with a familiar fire that Julian had not seen for a long time and, for a moment, he felt the presence of his old friend. Unfortunately, he mistook that presence for the real thing, and he responded as if Jadzia was really there instead of Ezri. But she hadn't been there, and Ezri paid the price.
Julian let out a long sigh. Right now, they both needed time to cool off. He would try to talk to Ezri in the morning, explain his mistake. Surely she would understand; every joined Trill had similar experiences. They had their share of fights before, and they always managed to resolve without too much difficulty. Hopefully, this would have the same results.
Apologizing to Ezri was proving to be far more difficult than Julian anticipated. She refused to answer his hails on her commbadge, and when he went by her quarters, the doors were locked. Julian was starting to get worried. Ezri never avoided him like this before. Maybe she was angrier than he originally thought. If she didn't want to make up… Julian shook his head. He had to try; Ezri was far too important for him to lose.
He finally managed to track down Ezri in the Replimat. She was sitting with Miles, laughing at some joke he just told her. When she saw Julian, however, the smile slid off her face. She said something to Miles, then left before Julian reached the table. Julian's heart sank as he watched her walk away. How could he apologize if she wouldn't let him near her?
Miles looked up from his meal and saw his friend's dejected face. "Trouble in paradise?"
Julian dropped down into Ezri's abandoned seat. "What did she say?"
"Nothing, actually. I didn't even know you two were fighting until she ran off. What's wrong?"
Julian let out a long sigh. "I called her Jadzia."
"It was accident! We were having an argument, and she was acting just like her, so," Julian gestured hopelessly, "I called her Jadzia."
"And she thinks that you only see her as Jadzia, not Ezri."
"I don't know; she's not speaking to me." Julian replied bitterly. "But yeah, I guess so."
"Hmm." Miles sipped at his coffee, looking thoughtful.
"What is it?"
"Ah, it's nothing."
"If you have something to say, just say it."
Miles put his mug down. "Have you considered that she might be right?"
"What?!" Julian couldn't believe what he was hearing. "How can you say that?"
"You can't have Ezri without having Jadzia. Maybe you only see the Jadzia in Ezri, instead of Ezri as a whole."
"That's not true! I love Ezri for her, not because of her past hosts."
"You loved Jadzia, too."
"That was a long time ago. Besides, Ezri and Jadzia are nothing alike."
"Technically, they're almost the same person."
"Don't debate Trill philosophy with me!" Julian snapped.
"Sorry, sorry. All I'm trying to say is that I can see why Ezri's so upset."
"I just wish she would let me explain. I didn't mean to hurt her."
""It doesn't matter what you meant, the fact remains that you did."
Julian scowled at Miles. "Thanks. You always know just what to say to make me feel better."
Miles smirked. "Years of practice. Just give her some time. She'll talk when she's ready."
Julian sighed dejectedly. "I hope so."
Miles couldn't help a small smile at his friend's despair, but he quickly hid it. Julian's relationship with Ezri had changed him; he had never seen him so concerned with what someone thought of him. Miles stood up. "I've got to get going. Seems like everything was waiting 'til I got back to break down." He clapped Julian on the shoulder. "Good luck."
Julian tried to smile, but it was more of a grimace. "Thanks." Miles left, and Julian was left by himself. He needed all the luck he could get if he wanted Ezri to forgive him.
"Hey, Ezri!" Ezri started as Kira approached her on the Promenade. "I called you about three times."
Ezri smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. I'm a bit preoccupied this morning."
"Yeah, everything's fine." Ezri lied. She didn't feel like talking about her fight with Julian just yet. "Are you heading up to Ops?"
Kira didn't look entirely convinced by Ezri's reassurance, but she nodded. "I was talking to Odo about Lieutenant Mahoney. Have you met her yet?"
"I talked to her briefly. It didn't go well."
Kira smirked as the pair entered the turbolift. "Ops. According to Odo, she's nothing but trouble. You should have heard him going on about all the trouble she got into on her last assignment. I think he likes her." Kira glanced at Ezri, expecting her to laugh, but the Trill was staring blankly at the wall. "Computer, halt turbolift."
Ezri stared at Kira as the lift jolted to a stop. "What's going on?"
"I could ask you the same question."
"Just leave it alone, Nerys."
"Hey," Kira's voice was soft with concern. "We're friends. Tell me what's wrong."
Ezri found herself opening up to Kira's kindness. "It's Julian."
"Did you have a fight?"
"It was stupid, really. He forgot to tell me he was going to the holosuites with Miles. We were arguing, and… and he called me Jadzia."
"I should've known this would happen!"
"What do you mean?"
"He loved Jadzia."
"And you think… Ezri, I'm sure Julian isn't with you because you carry Julian's memories."
"I remember how he used to chase after her. He really loved her." Ezri angrily brushed away the tears that were threatening to spill from her eyes. "This is the thing with Worf all over again! I keep trying to have a relationship with people who only want Jadzia, not me."
"Hey, calm down. I know Julian, and I'm sure this is all just a stupid mistake on his part."
"But what if it isn't?"
Kira shrugged. "The only way to know for certain is to ask him."
"I don't want to talk to him."
"I know, I know. I'm a Counselor; I should be 'let's talk about our feelings' and everything. Oh, gods, is that what I sound like? No wonder people don't like therapists."
"This isn't just going to go away on its own."
Ezri nodded. "I know I'll have to talk to him eventually. But right now, I don't think I could even be in the same room as him. I just need some time." She tried to lighten the mood by smiling at Kira. "Are you sure you don't want to be a Counselor? You're pretty good at it."
Kira smiled back. "What are friends for?"
Suddenly, Sisko's voice boomed out through the commsystem. "Senior staff, report to the Wardroom."
Ezri glanced at Kira. "What do you think is happening?"
"I don't know." Kira tapped her commbadge. "This is Kira. Captain, what's going on?"
"Jem'Hadar have been found in the Alpha Quadrant."
Wow, that was a pretty fast update. My muse must be drinking 5 Hour Energy. I hope you liked this chapter; I really enjoyed writing it. Please don't kill me for another cliffy! I'll try to get the next chapter out as soon as I can. Until then, review and subscribe!