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Disclaimer: The characters and settings of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" are property of Paramount Television, and are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is property of the author, joan the english chick, and may not be reproduced, retransmitted, or posted anywhere without my expressed permission.Warnings/Ratings: Rated PG-13 for mild sexual content.
"Major Kira," said Julian Bashir in surprise as the Bajoran woman limped painfully into sickbay. "What happened?"
"I had a run-in with a couple of rowdy kids," Kira said, as Julian helped her onto an examination table. "I really have to talk to Quark about that horrid little nephew of his."
"Indeed," said Julian, passing a medscanner across Kira's body. He moved to another table to prepare a hypospray, adding, "You must have been rather distracted, if you didn't hear Nog coming."
"Tell me about it," Kira said, sighing as the hypospray hissed against her arm. "That kid just came at me out of nowhere."
"Mm-hmm," said Julian, returning to the medscanner. The readouts showed Kira's bruises lessening and her twisted ankle healing, but as he ran his eye over the Major's slouched form, the young doctor could practically see the knots in her shoulders. He set down the medscanner and availed himself of medical privilege to rub at Kira's neck. She was unbelievably tense. "Feeling a little stressed, Major?" Julian asked.
"Ever master of the obvious, Doctor," she said with a little of her usual spunk; but Julian wasn't deceived. "It is a little hectic with Commander Sisko off the station and that delegation of Ferengi swarming all over the place," Kira added grudgingly.
"Well, the Commander will be back from the conference the day after tomorrow, and Odo-"
"Odo's a big help," Kira interrupted sarcastically. "You know how he feels about Quark. He spends all his time at Quark's waiting for one of those innumerable cousins to do something illegal, just so Odo can make a big fuss and close the place down."
"Major, you can't worry about everything," Julian pointed out gently. "Odo will take care of Security, so you should concentrate on keeping the station running."
"If I need a counselor, there's a Betazoid ship docked in Bay Twelve, Doctor," Kira said sharply. Julian raised his eyebrows and said nothing. He picked up the used hypospray and moved to discard it. Kira's hand on his arm stopped him.
"I'm sorry, Doctor. I didn't mean to yell at you." Her voice was so weary that Julian almost felt tired himself.
"It's quite all right, Major." He disentangled his arm from her grip and continued cleaning up. "May I suggest you take a short break? The station can run without you for a few hours. Maybe a nap and a hot bath, or even a holosuite-"
"Not for me, thanks," Kira said, sliding off the exam table. Julian watched her move. Her body language told him that she was still tense, although the pain of her collision with Nog had receded.
"Sit down, Major," he said, gesturing her to a chair. His duty was to the health of the people on the station: and that included mental as well as physical health. As Kira lowered herself into the chair, Julian read annoyance on her face, and hidden fear. She was worried that he would attempt to relieve her of command, and to her fierce Bajoran pride, that would be almost as bad as death....
"I'm really fine, Doctor," Kira said firmly, watching Julian with a wary eye as he pulled another chair toward her and sat down. "Your medical skills fixed me right up."
"Indeed they did, Major, but you're still quite tense," Julian said. He ran his tongue over his lips as he tried to frame his question in the most diplomatic of terms. "Major - " his liquid chocolate eyes lifted to regard her with concern and compassion. Kira's face softened, but her hands remained clenched in her lap. "Major," Julian continued, "how is your ... sex life?"
"My what??" Kira exclaimed, flushing scarlet. She started to rise,but Julian hastily gestured her back into her seat with exclamations of apology.
"I'm sorry, Major, I don't mean to pry into your personal business," Julian assured her. "It's just that you are extremely tense, and studies have found that a healthy sex life can be very beneficial in maintaining acceptable levels of stress."
Kira relaxed slightly. "Well, Doctor, that's really none of your concern," she said, unable to keep some of the sharpness from her voice, "but I will tell you this much: You don't have to worry about me!" And with that, she rose from her chair and departed.
Some time later, Julian Bashir's commbadge chirped, and he looked up distractedly from medical logs to respond. "Bashir here," he said, tapping the communicator on his chest. The stern, gravelly voice of Odo replied.
"Doctor, your presence is required at Quark's," Odo said. "There seems to have been some sort of a ... mishap."
"On my way," Julian sighed, and headed for the nearest turbolift. As he approached Quark's, he was passed by several Ferengi headed in the other direction, as quickly and determinedly as they were able.
Quark's was quiet, which was unusual for this time of day. The only occupants were Odo, Dax and Quark, all of whom were clustered at the far end of the bar, arguing. Julian heard the familiar sound of voices raised in dispute, saw the resigned lift of Dax's eyebrows as she noticed him, and knew that Quark and Odo were at it again. As he drew nearer, he could make out their conversation.
"This station is fully equipped with all the facilities to meet the needs of our patrons!" Odo fumed.
"Fully equipped?" Quark exclaimed "Two of the holosuites indefinitely off-line, and you call that fully equipped? My clientele come from a highly select group of connoisseurs, and they-"
"Highly select? You mean high-paying, don't you?" Odo retorted.
Julian sidled up to Dax and commented, "I don't see any blood ... yet." "Oh ... I'm sorry, Julian, I should have let you know you weren't needed anymore," Dax said. "The Ferengi decided to go to his own doctor. Apparently they brought everything they'd need, including medical personnel."
"Was there a fight?"
Dax took Julian by the arm and led him toward the door, saying, "Let's leave these two to their discussion, shall we?" As they emerged from Quark's and proceeded along the promenade, she went on, "Two of Quark's cousins got into an argument about which one had broken more Rules of Acquisition. It turned into a minor scuff, and you know Odo, he'd like nothing better than an excuse to shut Quark down."
"I see." Julian suddenly became aware of Dax's hand on his arm, her soft voice in his ear, the warm scent of her. He noticed that they were strolling leisurely along the Promenade like a pair of young lovers ... heading, in fact, in the general direction of Dax's quarters. He licked his lips and was about to speak when Dax changed the subject.
"How is Major Kira?" she asked.
"I - what?"
"I understand Major Kira was in sickbay earlier. Is she all right?"
"Oh ... yes, quite all right. She had a minor collision with a moving Ferengi body -- moving away from the schoolroom, no doubt."
"Yes, Keiko O'Brien said that Nog cut school again today."
"Well, in any case, the Major's injuries were minor, but she is very tense. Being solely in command of Deep Space Nine is very wearing on her. I told her she needs a break."
Dax looked concerned. "Unfortunately, she'll probably need it even more in the next few days. We got a report that Benjamin's return shuttle was delayed because of a mishap at the conference." She stopped walking and looked Bashir in the face. "What did you tell Kira to do for relaxation?"
Julian blushed. He averted his eyes from Dax's lovely, concerned face, and almost whispered, "Well, I asked her about her sex life."
Dax burst out laughing. "You didn't really!"
"Yes, I thought some ... diversion would help her relax." He looked curiously at Dax. "You don't happen to know who's been warming her bed lately, do you?"
It was Dax's turn to blush. "I really don't think we should be discussing that, Doctor," she said, formally. "I have to get back to Ops. I'll see you later."
"Of course," Julian said, and watched Dax go with some regret. Tomorrow is another day, I guess, he thought to himself as he turned to the turbolift.
The next morning, Julian was in sickbay bright and early. Little did he know how his nurses talked about him during their lunch break: the phrase "morning person" was hurled at him like the most scathing of insults. But naturally he was oblivious. Checking the sickbay logs, he found that Dax had been in, very late the previous night. "Nurse," he said, "what was Lieutenant Dax in for?"
"Oh..." the nurse made a vague gesture, "she was just checking up."
"Checking up? She wouldn't be in the logs unless she had a medical complaint."
"I thought I'd log her visit just in case, Doctor, since it was a formal one."
"Did she mention any medical problems?"
"No, she said she was a little sore, but it was nothing a hot bath and a good night's sleep wouldn't cure. I offered her some medication, but she declined."
"I see." Julian frowned. It wasn't unlike Dax to refuse treatment, and she'd probably been sore from those odd Klingon calisthenics ... still, he'd feel better if he knew for sure. Besides, he'd always wondered what Dax looked like in the morning, before she put on her uniform and the formal Starfleet face....
"I'll be back," Julian said, and left sickbay. He paused at the replimat to dial up some hot, strong coffee and some toast, and whistled to himself as he strode briskly toward Dax's quarters.
He pressed the button outside the door, and a strained female voice called, "Who is it?"
"It's me, Julian...."
"Oh -- just a moment." The voice sounded suddenly on the brink of tears. Julian was alarmed.
"Jadzia? Are you all right?"
"Yes, fine -- I'm sorry I took so long." She opened the door and squinted at him through sleepy eyes. Her hair was tousled and lay softly on her shoulders. Julian suppressed an urge to brush the hair back from her face: instead, he strode jauntily past her and into the room, announcing, "I brought you coffee and toast -- not the most exciting breakfast, but...." His voice trailed off as he noticed the extra pair of shoes sitting by the sofa. They weren't Starfleet issue, and they were rather larger than Dax's size.
"I've already eaten," Jadzia said, with a wicked tinge to her voice. "But thank you, Julian, that was very sweet," she added, gently removing the tray from his hands.
"I - you have company. I'm sorry."
"No, that's all right. Really...."
"Do I smell coffee?" said a sultry voice from the other room. Julian's brows lifted.
"Um-" said Dax.
"Doctor! How lovely. Come to make it a threesome?" said Major Kira jovially as she entered the room wearing little more than her Bajoran earrings. Dax's eyes widened hugely, then she clamped her lips together and clapped a hand over them. Julian blushed to the roots of his hair.
"Uh -- I'm sorry, Major," he said. "I didn't mean to intrude."
"Not at all," said Kira, pouring herself a cup of coffee. "Coffee is always welcome. And so are you, Doctor," she added, with a decidedly un-Starfleet-issue glint in her eye. "Isn't that right, Jadzia?"
"Ah -- yes, of course," Dax said, composing herself enough to grab a towel and toss it to Kira. Kira casually wrapped the towel around herself.
Julian began to recover. "Surely," he said, and cleared his throat, and continued, "surely, Dax, you haven't lived seven lifetimes without having something like this happen at least once."
Kira looked mildly surprised. "Well, we were only following doctor's orders, after all." She grinned. "And you know, all that tension and stiffness is just totally gone -- disappeared -- poof!" She bit loudly into a piece of toast.
"Not really," said Dax, as if Kira had never spoken. "Curzon had his moments, but they usually consisted of jumping out the nearest window -- or engineering conduit, as the case may be."
"I -- see." Julian sat gingerly in a chair, blindly accepting the cup of coffee Kira handed him. The Major regarded him thoughtfully for a moment, and then straightened her shoulders and spoke.
"Yes, Major," Dax said, in a more subservient tone than Julian had ever heard from her. Glancing at her face, he saw a tantalizing look in her eye, although her expression was blank.
"How long until Commander Sisko returns?"
"Approximately thirty hours, Major."
"And how long until you're due on duty?"
"Two hours, Major."
"And how long until Ops will require my presence?"
"Two hours, Major."
"And the Doctor?"
Dax went to a wall console. "He has no scheduled appointments until this afternoon."
"Good." Kira drained her coffee and stood up, leaving the towel on the chair. "I'll see the both of you in conference, right now. A matter of extreme urgency." She turned sharply and strode back into the bedroom. Julian watched in amazement. Dax took his arm.
"Come on, Doctor," she said, drawing him toward the bedroom door. "It doesn't do to keep one's superior officer waiting."
"So much for doctor's orders," Julian murmured to himself as he accompanied Dax into the bedroom....
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