Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine belongs to UPN, Paramount and its producers and creators. It is not mine.
"Only Skin Deep" by karrenia
The flesh around his palms was bruised and raw from when he had swooped down from the balcony with a plan in mind to turn himself into a Tarkelian eagle with its prey in sight. Instead, much to his chagrin had ended up sprawled on the floor of the promenade.
The memory hurt worse than the actual injuries, injuries which Dr. Bashir had treated.
Never had he ever imagined that he would have to consider a one-dimensional existence that his ability to shape-shift might be taken away from him. It was unheard of.
And considering that as far as he knew Odo was the only one of his kind in the Alpha Quadrant, the fact did not console him at all. The mere fact that his innate ability to shape shift had come as naturally to him as breathing or drinking came to solids; had come as a serve blow.
He had believed that he had more or less come to terms with it, that he could on without it, but in truth, he knew that he could never fully come to terms with it, because his shape-shifting ability was an intrinsic part of his nature, a part of who and what he was.
He was angry, but the anger was a directionless one, a tidal wave without a visible outlet; and it hurt. The pain of his bruised hands was acute in the back of his mind Odo had to wonder if the pain to his pride was the one that he felt the most.
He glanced up in from where his hands had been resting n his lap and he then straightened his posture in the chair and faced Sisko.
“I read your report. You were a 100% convinced that they were using magnets to influence the outcome of Quark’s Tongo games?” Sisko asked.
Odo squared his shoulders and replied evenly. “I have no doubt whatsoever on that matter, Sir.”
Captain Benjamin Sisko nodded and visibly attempted to restrain from allowing a small smile o wry humor to escape and show on his face.
He had come to know Odo and he also just how seriously Odo took his job as constable in charge of station security; sometimes a bit too seriously and then had and might continue to clash on some of some of the more unorthodox methods employed; he was a damn fine officer.
After a moment more of consideration Sikso put down the Padd and laced his fingers in front of his face and wondering if he was asking in the capacity of a commanding officer or as a friend, or merely out his own personal curiosity.
“What were you trying to turn yourself into?”
“A Tarkelian Eagle,” Odor replied.
“Now that I would have loved to see!” Sisko replied.
Odo, unable to help himself, let slip the tightly drawn invisible reigns over his emotions that he had held within for so long up until now and laughed. “I suppose that you would have at that, too bad that it did not work.”
More soberly Sisko nodded his head. “Tell me something, Odo, do you miss it?”
Odo glanced up and then at his hands, at the wall, and the finally met Sisko’s insistent but concerned gaze, knowing without the actual words being spoken that the man was not asking this particular question idly or as
his commanding officer, but as a friend.
“Yes,” he replied. “Do not take this the wrong way, he added with a shrug. “I do not how you to stand remain always in one shape. It is like a person who has lost a limb but can often feel as that limb is still attached but then has only to glance down and realize what he or she has lost.”
Sisko answered with a grim smile and a nod of encouragement. “To be honest I don’t fully understand how your shape-shifting ability has been taken from you” he said fervently. “But rest assured that I will see that a way can be found to restore it.”
“You believe it’s possible?” Odo asked, unable to fully believe that he could hold onto the hope that it could be done, but willing to hold onto that fragment of hope nonetheless.
“Anything is possible,” Sisko replied in a much calmer and philosophical tone of voice from only moments earlier and leaned back in his chair. “But as much as I think we both want that to happen, in all practically I would advise you not to get your hopes up too far.”
“You do not have to go all this trouble on my account,” Odo replied.
“I know that, you know that,” Sisko replied with a grin on his face. “That does not change the fact that I want to go ahead with it, unless you any objections to the idea.”
“No, sir, I do not,” Odo replied unable to let slip the tiniest of conspiratorial grins onto his face.
“Well, good,” Sisko replied briskly. “That’s settled. Was there anything else you wished to discuss?”
“Well, yes,” Odor replied equally briskly. “As a matter of course, you are aware of my continuing investigation into the criminal activities of Quark.”
Sisko nodded. “Of course.”
“”Well, as a consequence of my current ah, incapacity, I feel that he has taken it into his head that he can evade my scrutiny.”
“No one evades your scrutiny, that’s what makes you such a good officer.”
“Yes, well,” Odo replied. “I just wanted to throw that out there.”
“Are you asking me to beef up security around Quark’s bar?”
“It wouldn’t hurt.”
Benjamin Sisko locked and held the gaze of his chief of security and saw and after a moment or two replied. “Consider it done. Although, I do not doubt that once the increased security measures are in place I will be hearing from Quark right away.”
“Well, Sir,” Odo sighed. “I suppose that scenario simply comes with the territory.”
“Of course, and thank you, Mr. Odo.”
“No, thank you, Sir.”