No comments? Okay--as promised from the beginning, this tale is, first and foremost, an exploration of the character and soul of Ezri Dax. With the remainder of this scene, we now establish the direction the rest of the tale will take.
So...without further ado...
Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
Spock held her gaze for a while longer. It was as if…he was studying something in her eyes.
Ezri frowned. “Is…something wrong, Ambassador?”
Spock turned away. “Forgive me, Captain.”
“N-no, Spock—it’s just…why were you looking at me like that?”
Ezri shook her head, smiling. “And they say Vulcans are incapable of lying….”
Spock kept his gaze fixed ahead. “Surely, Captain, you are being presumptuous.”
Ezri laughed, and leaned forward, to speak softly in his ear. “Come on, Spock. I used
to be a counselor, you know. I can tell when someone’s being…shall we say…less than forthright?”
Spock frowned, but still stared ahead. Ezri straightened up, and continued.
“And I also
know when someone’s trying to do some…amateur analysis of their own.”
Spock turned to her. “Captain…I assure you, any analysis I would ever choose to perform is hardly to be designated as…‘amateur’.”
Ezri nodded. “My apologies.”
But she held his gaze, the smile still on her face. Finally, Spock relented.
“I must admit, Captain…the primary reason I had requested to be escorted early, was for the simple reason that…I specifically desired to hold an audience with you, in person.”
Ezri’s gaze fell to the floor, as her smile disappeared. “I…guess I should have realized that.”
She looked to him. “Why else would you have wanted me
to lead your tour of the ship?”
“Of course, Captain.” Spock paused for a moment, and continued:
“You see…I have heard a great deal about you—not necessarily the previous Dax hosts, although I am indeed aware of the symbiont’s legacy—but I have heard many accounts of your specific service to Starfleet…and the Federation.”
Please Spock, none of that. I don’t think I could handle it
…. “Um, well…I wouldn’t believe everything you hear.”
Spock frowned. “Due to your decisive strategies, were many worlds not saved from suffering the onslaught of the Borg invasion?”
Ezri sighed, and returned to her seat. She sat down, and turned to face him. “If you’re talking about what I think you are…it wasn’t all my idea.”
“Nonetheless…you were indeed essential to saving the Federation from said threat.”
Ezri rolled her eyes, and smiled. “All right, I’ll give you that.”
“Thus…in many respects, Captain…I owe you my life.”
Ezri blinked, and the smile vanished. “I…I’m honored you think that way, Ambassador.”
Spock nodded. “Frankly, Captain, I desired to meet you…in order to see what kind of person you truly were.”
Ezri turned away for a moment, swallowed, and turned back to face Spock. “Well, I…hope I didn’t disappoint you.” She made another attempt at a smile.
“On the contrary, Captain. And may I say…I am honored to have made your acquaintance.”
Ezri’s gaze fell, and she sighed. “Ambassador…I don’t take this kind of thing very well.”
“You do not consider yourself worthy of my respect?”
“Oh, no, it isn’t that. It’s just…”
She paused, unsure of how to go on. Spock watched her silently, waiting. Finally, Ezri continued.
“Spock…I didn’t set out to be a heroine. I just did the best I could…and took charge, whenever I had to. And…all this,” as she spread out her hands, “…it’s just…another opportunity…to do the best I can.”
She paused, to see Spock’s reaction. He nodded in encouragement.
“Well…it used to be, whenever someone praised me for something I did, or…told me what a bright future I had ahead of me…I would just accept it, thank them—and move on with my life…continuing to do the best I can. But suddenly I find myself in the captain’s chair, and—now, thanks to the Borg, and all—I’m pretty much a household name…aren’t I?”
Spock said nothing.
Ezri broke her gaze, and it fell once again. “Everyone tells me that I deserve it all—that I proved myself…and saved all those people who look up to me now. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to handle….”
She blinked, and her voice began to break. “All that…respect from people I don’t even know…all those cheers that come my way, every time I—go down to a world that I’d helped to save…all those—all those cries of…‘Thank you, Ezri, we owe you our lives’…”
Ezri shook her head, fighting a tear that was forming in her eye. She remembered, once…the first relief mission, where she had seen all the destruction and death wrought on that world by the Borg. She remembered the survivors, surrounding her…remembered the cheers, the smiles, and the joy in their hearts upon seeing her for the first time….
But Ezri had stood there, in silence. Her vision had blurred…and for a time, a single thought filled her mind. We were too late
Now, she sat there, in the runabout, as the tears welled up in her eyes. She managed to whisper, “I just…I just wish I could…”
She closed her eyes, and turned away. No…I can’t lose it now…not in front of someone I don’t even know that well…not in front of a great man like
But it was no use. One escaped, and trailed down her cheek.
She heard Spock’s voice. It was probably her imagination, but…it sounded as if his own voice would break, as well.
“You wish…there was more that you could have done.”
Ezri opened her eyes, turned to him, and nodded.
Spock returned the nod, slowly. “I understand…Ezri.”
Ezri’s mouth opened in a small, silent gasp, stunned at hearing him use her given name.
Spock still kept his gaze focused on her, with a look of pure, unlimited admiration…for her.
It was more than she could bear.
Ezri slowly stood up. She spoke in a near whisper. “I’d…better get some sleep.” She nodded in his direction. “Good night, Ambassador.”
Spock nodded, and turned back to his console.
Ezri headed for the back of the shuttle, entering one of the enclosures in the wall, and lying down on the cot within, closing the panel for privacy. She stared at the ceiling for what seemed like an eternity, until finally…she closed her eyes, and slept.
* * *