*There she is again* Jadzia Dax thought while sipping at her cup of raktajino at the Replimat—with that Bajoran man who just came through the looking glass. He looked like Bareil but he was nothing like Vedek Bareil. Someone pulled a chair by her side taking her attention away from Kira and her newest friend.
—Good morning, old man.
—Good morning, Benjamin. Just on time.
—I am sorry if I am late, the Nausicaan boss kept me busy longer than expected. I had to agree to let his men go as long as they would not get close to Bajor and the station…at least for now.
—It’s okay, Benjamin, are you going to have something?
—Let me get a raktajino, the meeting with the Nausicaans was a test to my patience and we must be back in Ops soon.
While Jadzia waited for Captain Sisko to get a cup of his preferred hot beverage, she looked at her PADD and glanced at the table where Kira and mirror Bareil were talking while drinking some smoky, hot beverage, maybe ginger tea, one of Kira’s favorite. The Trill was surprised to see them both coming out of the Bajoran temple after service. Bareil had arrived a few days ago from the mirror universe using a multidimensional transporter device. As soon as he appeared in Ops, he took Kira hostage and tried to get himself into a runabout to leave the station. But he had underestimated her and the Chief of Security. Once in front of the landing pad, Kira disarmed him easily and knocked him down.
Odo had been waiting for them in the airlock since Sisko alerted him about the intruder. The Chief of Security seized the mirror man and brought him to the brig not without noticing first the remarkable resemblance with Vedek Bareil. At that moment, some memories flashed through the Changeling’s mind: Vedek Bareil, the former lover of Major Kira, the one who sacrificed himself to keep the negotiations open between Bajor and Cardassia until both sides reached a successful outcome albeit short-lived. The Constable had witnessed the Major’s pain when the religious leader slowly let himself go for the sake of his people. And he, the Constable, was also in pain because he felt Kira’s pain as his own. He had never linked with her but there was a nexus between them that would alert him of any good or bad emotions, feelings, sensations the First Officer of Deep Space Nine may experience. He was sympathetic to the Major as his commander and friend, but there was more to it, something that was unique and different from his friendship with other humanoid acquaintances.
After a little more of one hour in the brig, a deputy alerted Odo that the intruder was coming to his senses and alerted the Chief of Security:
—The prisoner is awake.
—Good—said the Constable. He tapped his comm badge—Odo to Major Kira.
—Our visitor is ready for questioning.
—On my way.
As soon as Major Kira stepped into Odo’s office, the Constable excused himself:
—Major, I have been called to one of the airlocks to review safety measures with Chief O’Brien. He is concerned about a possible malfunction due to the heavy traffic in the station. Deputy Indar will assist you with the prisoner.
—Thank you, Odo.
Surprisingly to many, three days of conversations with mirror Bareil were enough to convince Kira that he was not as dangerous as they thought of him at first, to the point that the Major talked Captain Sisko into letting him walk free around the station and eventually stay in this side of the universe instead of going back to his. “I have been there,” Kira would say referring to the Alliance, “I would not want to go back either.” Odo had reluctantly followed Kira’s and Sisko’s orders and let him out of the brig, but he would keep an eye on the mirror guest, at least as long as this man would remain in the station. Sisko trusted the Major’s guts but agreed to the Constable’s surveillant eye for a while:
-Careful, Odo, we don’t want the Major to think that we don’t trust her—Sisko warned the station’s Chief of Security.
Back to his midday break, Sisko returned to the table with a cup of raktajino.
—I hope I did not give in too soon—he said to Jadzia.
—What do you mean, Benjamin?
Sisko motioned with his head in the same direction that Jadzia had been looking, and then glanced at the Trill without saying one word.
—Yes, I understand—Jadzia sighed—I too have my doubts.
—They seem to be enjoying each other’s company—Sisko pointed out—Perhaps a bit too fast for someone who just crossed the looking glass into our world and tried to take our First Officer hostage.
—Not only that—Jadzia savored her hot drink.
—What do you mean?
—They attended service in the Bajoran Temple this morning.
—Faster than I expected... smooth operator—said the Captain—I am afraid that I will have to keep a closer eye on them, more than I’d planned to.
—Someone already is—said Jadzia—look.
The Chief of Security had entered the Replimat without being noticed and sat at a table in A hidden corner, one of his favorite spots to observe the surroundings. *Overzealous or jealous?* Jadzia wondered. Either way, she said to herself, Kira ought to be watched for her own sake, it would not hurt to keep an eye on her. But the Trill also felt for the Constable’s possible heartache since a new Bareil had crossed Kira’s path ... again. Vedek Bareil, Shakaar, mirror Bareil but Bareil after all. She had known through Curzon’s memories about Odo’s agony when he had to look after Shakaar during his visit to Deep Space Nine. She witnessed from far Odo’s pain when the First Minister went after Kira in front of everyone. All that seemed to be far away especially after the Dominion invasion of the station and a potential war still looming on all of them. The Trill thought that maybe, maybe after that closet conversation the night of her Bachelorette party, Odo and Kira would try exploring their friendship in other ways, but it seems that things stalled again. And this new version of Bareil Antos appeared all of a sudden.
Jadzia sipped her coffee while she and the Captain noticed Odo’s surveillance. Sisko coughed slightly and cleaned his throat.
—I made a point to Kira about not letting her emotions take over this time.
—What did she say?—asked the Trill.
—She asked me not to worry, that she knew very well what she was doing. She insisted that this Bareil is not dangerous and we could allow him to stay here, in our world. So, let be it... at least for now.
—What about the wormhole?
—I have thought about that too—Sisko sighed—As long as we allowed him to stay here, knowing about the wormhole is unavoidable. I asked the same question to the Major.
—Is there a wormhole in the other universe?—Jadzia said while finishing her Klingon coffee.
—I don’t think so. I heard no reference to it when I was there looking for Jake. The wormhole may be dormant in that world. After all, the Prophets seemed to have created it to help and protect Bajor. I cannot even conceive the existence of mirror Prophets.
—Maybe the place of the Prophets had been taken by the Pah-wraiths in the Alliance world.
—It’s possible; that would explain many things in that universe. But we don’t know if the Pah-wraiths could create something like the wormhole, what for?
—To go into the Gamma Quadrant and conquer it.
—They have no knowledge of the beings in the Gamma Quadrant, Jadzia.
—Not yet, Benjamin.
—Yes, not yet, and it’s better to leave things that way.
—Unless mirror Bareil...
—...goes back to his universe and spills the beans—Sisko finished Jadzia’s sentence—I am afraid, old man, that the very moment I gave in into Major Kira’s request, I decided the fate of that man. That is, for him to stay here for the rest of his life.
At that moment, Odo moved away from his table and casually approached one of the Replimat’s counters. Jadzia noticed that Kira and mirror Bareil were about to leave. The Trill saw the Constable watching them and for an instant, she felt that someone else, not Odo, should do that job, for his feelings towards the Major may interfere. However, he was the best Chief of Security of the sector, probably of the entire quadrant. Kira could not get better protection that the Constable’s. And still, Jadzia felt for him and wished there was another Odo, one without feelings for Kira, one who could take care of the situation without being exposed to another possible heartbreak. But she would not say anything. Since Dax’s Zhiant’ara and after the old man’s memories went back to Jadzia, she knew with certainty about the Constable’s feelings towards the Major. She would listen to him—not that he ever spoke to her about Kira—but she would not say one word to anyone. The Changeling’s emotional secret was safe with the Trill.
—Well, time to get back to Ops—Sisko said—are you coming, old man?
—Yes, Benjamin, let’s go.
Captain and Commander walked out of the Replimat and headed to the turbolift. They were surprised to find the Major and her mirror friend there.
—I am taking Bareil to Upper Pylon 2—said Kira casually—the better views of Bajor can be seen from up there.
—Certainly—Sisko agreed while thinking *and also the better view of the wormhole that the Alliance knows nothing about*—enjoy the view.
Once in the turbolift, Jadzia’s gaze found the Constable’s. He had also left the dining area and had followed Kira and Bareil. She and Benjamin just happened to be there. When the turbolift started to move, the Trill saw Odo’s eyes fixated on them until they disappeared from his view.