Colonel Kira Nerys pressed the door chime outside Dukat’s quarters. It was the morning after his date with Danielle Janeway, and Kira was mad. She hadn’t had a chance to go and talk to that Cardassian snake Dukat before his evening with the young Ensign Janeway, but it was Saturday, now, and she was off duty. She had
all the time in the world.
“Come in,” a voice beckoned from within the quarters. Kira pressed the open button. The doors slid open, and she stepped in. The doors slid shut behind her.
“You shouldn’t leave your door unlocked like that,” Kira said. “I’m sure there are plenty of people around here who’d like their chance at you.”
Dukat turned to face Kira. “Why, Colonel – I didn’t know you cared.”
“I don’t,” Kira said bluntly. “It’s just that I’ve got enough to worry about around here without a murder on my hands.”
Dukat let the insult pass, as usual. “What can I do for you, Colonel?”
“You could leave, but I know that’s not going to happen, so I’ll settle for this-” She took a few steps toward Dukat. “You could leave Ensign Janeway alone.”
Dukat had known it would only be short time before Kira came barking up his tree about the matter. She was right on schedule. “Ah, so this is about Danielle?”
“Yes, this is about Danielle,” Kira said. “Dukat, there are plenty of other women on this station to choose from to have your way with.”
“They are, Colonel, but I don’t want them; I want Danielle,” Dukat insisted. “And for your information, it isn’t about having my way, as you so put it.”
“What is it about, then, Dukat?” Kira asked Dukat in a manner that told him that she already had an answer for her own question. He didn’t answer, but merely looked at her, interested in where she was going. “What kind of game are you playing this time?” Kira continued.
“No games, Colonel,” Dukat said. “I’m merely a lonely man who’s found some companionship.”
The laugh that came from Kira was more than just a little sarcastic. “Okay, we’ll play this innocent act. You’re looking for companionship. But why her? What’s so special?”
“She is what’s so special, Colonel,” Dukat said. He walked over the sofa and sat. Kira remained standing. “When she looks at me, there is no fear in her eyes. She doesn’t see me as some monster, although she has every reason to. The only thing she isn’t sure of is if she can trust me, for which I can’t say I would blame her if she didn’t.”
“If she knows what’s good for her, she won’t,” Kira spat.
Dukat nodded. “You could be right,” he said. He realized that Danielle still hadn’t come to him with her decision on whether she wanted to pursue this relationship with him, and as far as she was concerned, this relationship might already be over. But he would never let Kira know that. He wanted the upper hand while he could still maintain it. He didn’t want to give her any fodder for her cannon. “So far, though, Danielle has given me a chance.”
“A chance to what? Hurt someone else?”
“I would never dream of hurting Danielle. I’d rather cut off my own arm.”
“Don’t say that around too many people. You might start to give people ideas.”
Dukat stood and walked around the coffee table to Kira. “This isn’t a joking matter, Colonel. Do you really think I’d do anything to hurt Danielle?”
“Yes. I do.” Kira’s brown eyes met Dukat’s blue ones and embarked on a most intense stare-down with them. Kira couldn’t believe that the man actually had the nerve to sit here and lie to her face. Well, actually, she could believe that. What she couldn’t believe was that he actually expected her to believe that what he was saying was true. Like she was some kind of idiot!
Then Dukat said something to Kira that turned her entire train of thought surrounding him around. “I swear on the life of my daughter that I would never do anything to hurt Danielle, just as I would never do anything to harm Ziyal,” he said.
Dukat didn’t blame Kira for not believing him. He hadn’t expected her to. She never had before. But she should know, having spent enough time with Cardassians and with him, that when he or any other of his species swore on the life of his child, that was his highest word, and it was assured that it would not be broken.
The door chime was the only thing that broke the staring contest between the Cardassian and the Bajoran. “Come in,” Dukat called, turning his attention to the door. The doors slid open, and Dani Janeway entered. She stopped short when she saw Kira. “Colonel Kira,” she greeted, almost immediately aware of the reason for her visit.
Kira simply nodded to the ensign. “Ensign.”
“Danielle,” Dukat said.
Dani walked towards Kira and Dukat. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” she said, already knowing that she was.
“No,” Dukat said. “In fact, the colonel was just leaving.”
Kira looked at Dukat. The fact that she was leaving was news to her. That skeptical glare of Kira’s was present, Dani noted. Kira turned to Dani with the same glare, on the way out of Dukat’s quarters.
Once the doors had closed, Dani turned to Dukat. “What did she say?” she asked him.
“Nothing,” Dukat lied. “The colonel is just concerned about my safety. She says I should keep my door locked.”
“She’s right. Things can get dangerous sometimes. Especially for you.”
“So I’ve heard.” Dukat gave the door one last look before letting the whole matter drop and turning his attention back to Dani. “Have a seat.”
“Thanks.” Dani sat on the sofa. Dukat sat down beside her. “I’ve come to a decision about what I want to do,” she informed him.
“Before you say anything else, I would like to say something,” Dukat requested.
Dani nodded. “Okay.”
“Danielle,” Dukat began, “I realize that you have every reason in the universe not to trust me, but I won’t ask you to ask you to be with me if it’s going to make you uncomfortable. But if it isn’t going to make you uncomfortable,” he said, taking her hand and looking intensely into her eyes, “Please – don’t deny me this opportunity to be happy.”
“I won’t,” was Dani’s reply. “I’ve decided that we should move forward with this relationship. I decided last night, actually. I just had to be sure.”
Dani nodded. “Yes,” she said.
“You realize this won’t be easy,” Dukat pointed out.
“Yes, I’m aware of that. But you tell me – what relationship is?”
Dukat smiled. “None, I suppose,” he replied. He reached out and stroked Dani’s face with the tips of his fingers. Dani watched his face as he did so. Was she really doing this? Was she going to dive into another serious relationship?
Another serious, controversial relationship? Why?
Because there was something about the man sitting before her that Dani found it hard to say no to.