a DS9 fanfiction by Lori Summers
You know, the Captain told me that being inducted into the Order of Light was a big occasion but I think I secretly suspected he was exaggerating. Unfortunately, if anything he was understating. Since I've been here I've been wined and dined (pardon the expression), toasted, written about, interviewed, had my hand shaken more times than I'd care to count and practically waited on hand and foot. I feel ridiculous most of the time, but I keep smiling and try to keep a sense of humor about the whole spectacle. I'm glad Julian is with me, he's very good at deflecting the worst of the bureaucratic nonsense...and at sensing when I'm about to lose my mind. He would make a marvelous diplomat. I'm sure I don't know why he and I have never really gotten to know each other before this...I'm finding that I rather like him. I can hear you laughing to hear me say that, Nerys...remember how we both loathed him when he first came to the station? I suppose we've all changed a lot since then. Who'd have thought you would ever be writing me love letters like the one I received last night? Thank you, by the way...now I think I know what you humanoids mean when you say "my toes curled up." I may wear out the PADD with re-reading it.
Actually, I'm having a rather enjoyable time, though I fail to understand why the Federation feels the need to start these festivities so far in advance. I suppose it gives me a good opportunity to see more of Earth. I've heard so much about it, and the other times I've been here were rather too busy for sightseeing. Julian and Jake have been very enthusiastic tour guides...I only wish you were here to see it with me. It really is quite beautiful, and in places so very unlike Bajor. Did you know that ancient humans were so industrious that they built structures that can be seen from space...and with no machinery at all?
On a more depressing note, I've been to New Orleans twice but the Captain won't see me. I've spoken to his father as well as Jake...they both told me the same thing, and it wasn't encouraging. He's become very introspective and doesn't talk much, and when he does he refuses to talk about the station at all...or about Jadzia. They're both very worried about him but they don't know how to help him. Jake thinks I should just arrange to bump into him one day and force him to talk, but I'm not a counselor, I wouldn't know what to say. I'll let you know if I hear anything else or if I see him.
I miss you, Nerys. I can't wait to see you...and, needless to say, act on some of the suggestions you made in your last letter. It already feels as though I've been gone a long time and it'll be another ten days before you're here! There's a Terran expression which insists that "absence makes the heart grow fonder," but there's another Terran expression that says "out of sight, out of mind." Perhaps I shouldn't pay too much attention to Terran expressions.
I trust everything is all right on the station and Lt. Saunderson isn't too overwhelmed by my duties. Remind Quark that if anything is amiss when I return I'm holding him responsible!
Perhaps we can talk on subspace before you leave the station. The holo I brought with me is a poor substitute for the sight of your smile, my love. Tomorrow I have yet another reception and a panel discussion with some Academy cadets, then Julian wants to take me to Nepal. He says I'll understand when we get there. I'll hope to hear from you very soon.
Whew! What a day. I spent most of the afternoon sorting out a trade dispute between a Lissepian captain and a pair of very impatient Nossicans. Actually, Quark helped me sort it out. The Nossicans went to the bar for a drink and Quark talked them into accepting the Lissepians' offer, don't ask me how. I'd be more grateful to him if he hadn't made a big point of telling me to make sure I told you how helpful he'd been! I think he just wants you to know he's behaving himself while you're away, which I must admit he has been. Things have been relatively quiet here, but I think Lt. Saunderson has gained an whole new level of respect for you!
Even so, your letter made my day. I'm glad you enjoyed the last one I sent you...I'm not sure what got into me! I've never written a letter like that before, I guess I had to be in exactly the right mood. I'm sorry this one is so ordinary! Believe me, my imagination is still working overtime. Maybe I'll be in exactly the right mood again later!
I was disturbed to hear you haven't been able to get through to the Captain. I was really hoping he'd be there to meet you with a smile and tell you he was all ready to come back to work after the ceremony...perhaps that was just wishful thinking. If Jadzia were here she could talk some sense into him. I miss her so much, Odo. Every day I keep expecting to see her at her post, and I still catch myself starting to address remarks to her as if she's still there to answer me. Dammit, now I'm starting to get weepy again. Just when I think I'm done crying, it sneaks up on me. I know you miss her too. I enjoy Ezri's company and I hope one day we'll be as close as Jadzia and I were...but she can't replace her.
Things are getting worse on Bajor. If the Emissary doesn't return I'm really afraid of what's going to happen. I feel so helpless up here, and though I try to keep my faith strong as the vedeks say we must, I feel so cut off from the Prophets. It's almost worse than during the Occupation...our bodies may have been in more danger but our paghs were full of faith.
Well, now I've done it. I've gone and gotten myself depressed again. It's moments like this I miss you the most. I know if you were here I wouldn't have to explain, you would just understand. You'd put your arms around me and somehow everything would seem better. It cheers me up just thinking about it. I'm counting down the days until I get to Earth. Can you believe that Shakaar called me and actually had the nerve to suggest that I shouldn't leave the station just now? I told him where to stick it, let me tell you. It's not as if my presence or absence would make any big difference anyway, Worf can handle it, and things would have to be a lot worse than they are to make me miss my fiancee's induction into the Federation Order of Light. He seemed surprised it meant that much to me...Prophets, it made me mad. It's as if he still thinks we just have a casual relationship. I set him straight, believe me.
I hope you're taking lots of pictures of these trips Julian is dragging you on. We'll have time to do some traveling after the big event, just the two of us. And don't worry, I'm prepared for the days before the ceremony...I'm practicing my best fiancee-of-the-honoree smile, my firm handshake, and my witty yet intelligent small talk. I'm not letting you face all those receptions and dinners by yourself!
Well, I should get some sleep. Another busy day in Ops tomorrow, I'm sure. Seven more days until we leave for Earth! Please write soon. I'd love to talk on subspace before I leave, just open a channel whenever you have time, don't worry about waking me up.
If you do manage to see Benjamin, please give him my best and tell him we need him. Say hello to Julian and Jake for me. Miles sends greetings and says he's looking forward to having a decent pint, whatever that is, and Garak wanted me to convey his congratulations to you...he's sorry he didn't get a chance to tell you himself before you left. He's making me a new dress for the ball, on the house. I'm not sure whether to be grateful or nervous! I can't wait to see you. Seems like you've been gone a lot longer than two weeks.
I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice that I'm sending this missive scrambled and re-routed through six encryption pathways. I hope it's still readable when it reaches you at headquarters. Might seem excessive but CERTAIN PEOPLE who shall remain nameless seem to think it's necessary to conceal our current whereabouts. I told her two encryptions were sufficient and aside from that if I can't trust you who can I trust, but CERTAIN PEOPLE are waaaaaay too paranoid for their own good.
Anyway I just wanted to let you know that we'll be there for your big ceremony. I told her in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't miss this for anything and I didn't CARE if we had to postpone this job or that job and in the end she yielded to my irrefutable logic, as always.
This assignment is a blast, apart from the company. I can't tell you how much havoc we're wreaking on the bad guys. You've probably heard about a number of our operations, you just didn't realize that's what they were. Of course I can't talk about it. I might be inclined to tell you, but if CERTAIN PEOPLE found out that I had, I'd never hear the end of it, and if there's one thing she doesn't need, it's another excuse to read me the riot act.
So anyway I'm looking forward to seeing you! I've missed you, Stretch. I miss our debates, our chess games, our misadventures. We did get into a few scrapes together, didn't we? I hear the squadron is doing very well and are almost ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting cosmos.
How is Nerys? You set a date yet? If you have and haven't let me know there will be hell to pay, I promise. CERTAIN PEOPLE are very excited about attending your nuptuals, which is the one thing we agree on, though I dread having to pick out a gift with her. See you soon, buddy!
--The Blue Man (ha ha)
I'm having Garak deliver this note for me, if he knows what's good for him he'll see that it gets to you safe...and unopened. It's best if I keep my distance, for the time being.
But I'll be seeing you soon! I'll be attending the ceremony along with the person who is amusingly called my partner. He's always uneasy about going anywhere where there will be lots of people...his fear of having his precious little technological toys stolen approaches phobia...but I told him he could just suck it up because we're going to be there. It's events like this that give us super-secret types the chance to interact with friends and not look suspicious.
Our mission is going very well, all things considered, though I don't know how I got stuck with this infernal Changeling. Something I did in another life? Come to think of it, it was probably something I did in this one.
I heard about your recent loss. I'm very sorry, I know you were close to her. I understand Dax has been given a new host. What's she like? You'll have to tell me about it when I see you. It'll be nice to be able to socialize with you freely...after all, we're just two officers who served together, right? Nothing suspicious there. Perhaps I can even get to know Odo a little bit! Seems strange, I feel so much like I know him well but I've scarcely spent two minutes in the same room with him. How is he? Probably annoyed at all the attention being paid him. It's all over the Federation News service. The Order of Light medallion is a big deal, it's so rarely given out. He really deserves it, though. Say whatever you like about my partner...and I mean that literally, scathing insults are preferred...but with his abilities at my disposal I have been able to accomplish things I could never have done before. From what I hear, the squadron shows vast potential as well.
Well I want to keep this short. I'm looking forward to seeing you again, Nerys...and you're still under my personal expectation to notify me immediately when you set a date for the wedding!
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